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Brown & Lee Fuel Phils in Series Finale

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Domonic Brown has been the hottest hitter in the majors through the month of May and it continued on this, the second day of June.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, he stepped up with Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard on base, and he crushed a 3-1 fast ball well into the seats in right field. It was his second three run home run of the series and the Phillies were off and running, up 3-0.

After a single from John Mayberry, Jr, Erik Kratz roped a double in the gap in left center field to bring Mayberry all the way around to score, making it 4-0 Phillies. Still with two outs, and Kratz on second, Freddy Galvis just missed a home run with a triple off the top of the wall in right. Kratz crossed the plate to make it 5-0 Phillies after one inning.

That would be more than enough for Phils’ starter Cliff Lee, who has become the team’s stopper. The Phillies are now 7-2 in games following a loss that Lee has started.

Lee was masterful, lasting 7.2 innings and allowed 7 hits, three runs and struck out 11 Brewers. He recorded his 1600th career strike out in the process. His earned run average for the year dropped to 2.45.

The Phillies would score again in the bottom of the second. Ben Revere reached on an error and stole second, an occurrence that the Phillies haven’t seen enough of this season. He advanced to third on a single by Rollins. Revere would score on a sacrifice fly from Howard, making the score 6-0.

Brown then came up again, and hit a line drive that eluded Norichika Aoki in right field. Rollins scored, and Brown wound up at third with a triple. He was 2-2 with four runs batted in after just two at-bats. The 7-0 cushion was more than enough for Lee.

Brown finished 3-3 on the day with a walk and four RBIs, a double shy of the cycle.

This game, of course, was not without intrigue. Lee began to labor in the top of the eighth inning. He was pulled with two outs, a 7-1 score, and two men on base. Charlie Manuel brought in Justin De Fratus, who after a walk to load the bases, served up what appeared to be a grand slam home run to catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

After an umpire review, it was determined that the ball hit off the top of the wall in left field, not clearing the fence. Lucroy was awarded third on the play, after the umpires determined that Aramis Ramirez would have scored anyway from first. That made the score 7-4, with two of the runs charged to Lee.

Even with their seven run outburst, and the performance by Lee, a few more runs here or there and this one turns into a laugher. Instead, they did not score again, and all of a sudden it’s a save situation.

Due to a stomach bug, closer Jonathan Papelbon was unavailable today, so Antonio Bastardo got the chance to close out the ball game. After a leadoff single to Alex Gonzalez, Bastardo walked Rickie Weeks to bring the tying run to the plate in the person of Jeff Bianchi. Gonzalez & Weeks were a combined 1-6 today against Cliff Lee.

Bianchi singled to left field and Gonzalez scored from second, making it 7-5. Still with nobody out, and no activity in the Phillies’ bullpen, the hot hitting Jean Segura came up to pinch hit for Logan Schafer. He would ground out to Howard, but Weeks & Bianchi moved into scoring position.

That brought Aoki to the plate, and he flied out to Brown in left field. With two outs, they walked Carlos Gomez intentionally with the pitcher’s spot up next.  That brought pinch hitter Martin Maldonado to the plate, and he flied out to Ben Revere on the first pitch he saw.

It never should have been that close or dicey, but the Phillies hung on to win 7-5 and deny a Milwaukee sweep.

Stats Courtesy of Phillies.com

Photo Courtesy of KSL.com

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