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Lee fans 14, drives in four as Phils rip Marlins

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The strikeouts kept coming for Cliff Lee. So, too, did the hits.

The Philadelphia Phillies' veteran left-hander struck out a season-high 14 and had career highs of three hits and four RBIs as the Phils battered the Miami Marlins 12-2 Monday night.

"It was basically his show," interim Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.

"He did everything," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

Facing the major leagues' lowest-scoring team, Lee (14-6) worked eight innings and allowed two runs on eight hits. He did not walk a batter en route to winning his fourth consecutive decision.

It was his fourth double-digit strikeout game of the season and the 27th of his career. He surpassed 200 strikeouts for the third straight season.

Lee also went 3-for-4 with a two-run single, an RBI triple and a run-scoring single. The triple was the first of his major league career.

Chase Utley hit a three-run homer and drove in a season-high four runs for Philadelphia, and Darin Ruf added a two-run homer. Utley, Ruf, Jimmy Rollins and Cesar Hernandez contributed two hits apiece, and the Phillies had 14 in all.

Lee, who surpassed 200 innings for the sixth straight season and the eighth time in his career, has worked eight innings or more in five of his past seven starts. The 14 strikeouts were two shy of his career high, which came against the Atlanta Braves on May 6, 2011.

"The strikeouts, that doesn't do much for me," he said. "That just kind of happens."

However, he was "happy as could be" about his hitting, according to Sandberg. Lee's RBI total was the most by a Phillies pitcher since Robert Person drove in seven runs against the Montreal Expos on June 2, 2002.

"I try to do everything I can to help the team win," Lee said, "and take it all serious."

"He can hit," Redmond said. "He gives you good at-bats."

Still, Lee's stock in trade is his work on the mound. And Lee was on top of his game Monday.

"He knows how to pitch," Redmond said. "He moves the ball in and out, and he got some runs early, so he could be aggressive."

Miami's Sam Dyson, making his first major league start, lasted just 2 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs on six hits. Dyson (0-1) struck out one and walked four.

The Phillies scored once in the first on Utley's groundout, then broke the game open by scoring six times in the third. Utley's three-run homer and Lee's two-run single highlighted the inning.

Lee retired 11 hitters in a row between the first and fourth, but Miami's Justin Ruggiano led off the fifth with a double and scored one out later on a single by Adeiny Hechavarria.

Lee's triple came in the fifth and drove in Ruf, who led off the inning with a single. Lee then scored on a single by Hernandez, making it 9-1.

Ruggiano doubled home a run for the Marlins in the sixth, but Ruf hit his two-run homer in the bottom of that inning, and Lee added his RBI single in the seventh.

NOTES: Utley's homer was his first since Aug. 21. ... Rollins' first-inning double was his 30th of the season, marking the 10th time in his career he has had at least that many in a season. ... Ruggiano tied a career high with two doubles. ... Dyson was the 12th starting pitcher used by the Marlins this season, tops in the National League. Only the Baltimore Orioles (14) and Toronto Blue Jays (13) have used more. ... Dyson's outing represented the 52nd game started by a Marlins rookie this season. According to STATS LLC, only the Milwaukee Brewers have had more games started by first-year players (57). ... Sandberg said before the game there "hasn't been any indication or any word" from the organization as to whether he will be retained as manager beyond this season. "I'm just focused on what I have here," he said. ... C Jeff Mathis, out since Sept. 9 with a right thumb contusion, returned to the Marlins' lineup. He struck out in all three of his at-bats. ... Miami plans to start RHP Nathan Eovaldi on Wednesday against the Phillies. He was scratched from his last start due to back tightness.

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