Week 8 fantasy football chat:

Pence's clutch hit gives Phillies their fourth win in a row

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Philadelphia Phillies kept giving themselves chances to score Tuesday night, and Hunter Pence finally cashed one in.

His two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning off Kenley Jansen gave the Phillies a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers before 53,498 at Dodger Stadium.

"I found the hole. That's about it," said Pence, who went 2-for-3 with a walk in the win, the fourth straight for Philadelphia.

The Dodgers have lost four consecutive games and 19 of their last 25.

Los Angeles took a 2-1 advantage into the eighth, but Ronald Belisario (3-1) walked Chase Utley and hit Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz to load the bases with two outs. Jansen was brought into the game to attempt a four-out save, but Pence made sure that didn't happen with a clean single to center field. It was Jansen's fifth blown save of the season.

"Walks kill you in close games," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We took advantage of it tonight."

The Phillies had put runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings but failed to score the tying run.

Roy Halladay, who had missed seven weeks with a strained right lat muscle, was activated from the disabled list and pitched five innings of two-run ball. He threw 80 pitches, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out six.

"He did pretty good for only his second time on the mound in six or seven weeks," Manuel said. "I liked him keeping the ball down."

Kyle Kendrick (3-8) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to record the victory. Jonathan Papelbon retired the Dodgers in order in the ninth inning for his 21st save of the season and his second in as many nights.

Dodgers right-hander Stephen Fife allowed one run in six innings in his major league debut, but he was stuck with a no-decision. Fife struck out just one, but he induced 11 ground-ball outs.

"He stayed under control and changed speeds. He was able to get the ball in and kept those guys off the plate," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We got a couple of runs for him but weren't able to do anything else."

Jimmy Rollins hit the second pitch of Fife's major league career into the right field corner for a leadoff double. He was sacrificed to third base, then scored on a grounder by Utley to first baseman James Loney for a 1-0 Phillies lead.

The Dodgers responded with four consecutive hits to open the second inning, including run-scoring singles by Loney and Luis Cruz. However, Halladay was able to escape further damage thanks in part to Cruz getting doubled off first base on a soft liner to Utley at second base.

The Phillies threatened in the fourth inning when Howard walked to lead off the inning and advanced into scoring position with no outs on a wild pitch by Fife. But two groundouts and a fly ball ended the inning to preserve the 2-1 Dodgers lead.

Fife fanned Rollins with a runner on second base in the fifth inning for the first strikeout of his career, then induced a groundout from Shane Victorino to end the threat.

NOTES: Halladay has 1,996 strikeouts in his career, fourth among active pitchers, trailing only Andy Pettitte (2,310), CC Sabathia (2,128), and Kevin Millwood (2,049). ... Monday and Tuesday marked the first time this season that Ryan Howard, Utley, and Placido Polanco all started in consecutive games for the Phillies. "You can't deny the impact of having them back in the lineup," Pence said. ... The Dodgers placed right-hander Chad Billingsley on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 8. He will throw a bullpen session Friday and is expected to start for the Dodgers on Monday in St. Louis, missing just one start. ... To make room for Halladay on the active roster, the Phillies outrighted right-hander Brian Sanches to Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the game. Sanches allowed seven runs and 15 baserunners, including four home runs, in 6 1/3 innings with Philadelphia. ... Mattingly said right-hander Javy Guerra, on the bereavement list since Saturday, could return to the Dodgers as soon as Wednesday.
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