Myers, Rollins help Phillies sweep Dodgers

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Brett Myers was heading to the dugout after retiring Manny Ramirez in a crucial spot when the slugger turned and said something to the pitcher.

Was Manny stirring things up again? No, just offering praise.

“He’s one of the best pitchers in the league,” Ramirez said. “That guy is nasty.”

Myers tossed seven gritty innings, Jimmy Rollins had three hits and two RBIs, and the Philadelphia Phillies completed their first four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 23 years with a 5-0 win Monday night.

Philadelphia remained a half-game behind the NL East-leading New York Mets with its eighth victory in 10 games since losing four straight at Dodger Stadium. The Mets visit Tuesday for a two-game set.

“It means we have to go get two more,” Rollins said. “It’s no more important than the four games we have in Chicago after. Every game is the playoffs right now.”

It was the Phillies’ first four-game sweep over the Dodgers since Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 1985, at Los Angeles. Philadelphia had never swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.

Los Angeles began the day three games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West.

Coming off his first shutout in four years, Myers (7-10) ran his scoreless innings streak to 16. He allowed nine hits, struck out eight and walked three.

J.C. Romero worked the eighth and Clay Condrey finished the 13-hitter. Only two teams have had more hits without scoring a run in a nine-inning game: The New York Giants got 14 hits in a 7-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 14, 1913, and the Cleveland Indians had 14 hits in a 9-0 loss to the Washington Senators on July 10, 1928.

“You draw it up and the law of averages says you’re going to score some runs, but you can’t depend on that,” Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said.

Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley (12-10) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings.

Myers pitched out of jams all night. The toughest came in the seventh when Los Angeles loaded the bases with one out. But the right-hander fanned Jeff Kent and retired Ramirez on a liner to deep right to preserve a 3-0 lead.

That’s when the two players exchanged compliments walking off the field.

“It was kind of a hat-tip,” Myers said. “He’s a good dude. He’s real honest about who he thinks are tough pitchers.”

Ramirez, then with the Red Sox, hit a grand slam off Myers in Boston’s 12-8 win in Philadelphia on June 26, 2005. Myers didn’t remember that until he left the mound.

“I had a feeling he was sitting on a breaking ball,” he said. “Even if he sits on it, it’s hard to hit sometimes.”

Myers has been outstanding following a trip to the minors. The Phillies demoted their opening-day starter on July 1 after he went 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA in his first 17 starts. Since returning, Myers is 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA in seven starts.

“I’m pitching now,” Myers said. “You have to have that feeling of how to pitch.”

Rollins snapped out of a long slump by going 3-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch, falling a homer short of the cycle. The reigning NL MVP entered 4-for-46 since calling Philadelphia fans “front-runners” in a television interview almost two weeks ago.

Booed throughout the homestand, Rollins got a standing ovation from most of the crowd after he delivered a two-out, two-run single to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the second. They were his first RBIs since Aug. 11.

“He was patient, he had short, quick swings and stayed on the ball,” manager Charlie Manuel said of his leadoff hitter.

Rollins lined a double to right leading off the fifth, went to third on Chase Utley’s single and scored on Pat Burrell’s double-play grounder for a 3-0 lead.

Jayson Werth had an RBI single off Chan Ho Park in the seventh. Werth scored from second base on Chris Coste’s bouncer to second to put the Phillies ahead 5-0.

Notes

Ramirez doesn’t have an RBI in the last seven games. … Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is on pace for 213 strikeouts, which would break the single-season record of 199 he set last year. … Rollins got his first extra-base hit since Aug. 12. … Philadelphia’s previous four-game sweep came against the Mets last Aug. 27-30 at home. … The Phillies are a season-high 13 games above .500 for the third time and first since June 13.

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