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Two-run eighth pushes Phillies past Twins

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Philadelphia Phillies finally got some timely hits and avoided a sweep by the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night at Target Field with a 3-2 victory.

Phillies starter Cliff Lee took a one-hitter into the seventh inning before losing a 1-0 lead on a two-out, two-run double by Justin Morneau. But the Phillies responded in the top of the eight with two runs that resulted in the win.

Lee picked up the win and halted a season-high five-game Phillies losing streak. He allowed two earned runs, three hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings.

"Cliff dominated the entire game, against a pretty formidable lineup there," said Philadelphia's Kevin Frandsen, who scored the tying run. "They got some guys that are some mashers and great hitters. He got a great performance that you don't want to go with a loss."

It looked as though Lee might have to do it on his own as the Phillies scored one early run and then stranded 13 runners on the bases (16 total in the game).

"Absolutely not, I can't explain it," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said when asked about the runners left on base. "We just didn't knock anybody in. Actually, the way the game was running, we did start getting guys on with two outs and we couldn't score -- bottom line.

"At least we got guys on base. We can always have a chance to knock them in if they are out there on base. But I can't explain it."

In the top of the eighth, the Phillies put together three straight hits off reliever Jared Burton. They tied the score on Delmon Young's RBI single and took the lead when Ben Revere -- who had four hits in the game -- scored on a fielder's choice throw to home.

"You have to go home. You can't let that guy score," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said when asked if Morneau, who made the throw from first base to the plate, could have done anything else.

"We're playing in and he's holding the guy on. Really, there is not much other play -- you can try to take the runner or something, but he's got to get the guy at home. Ben just got a great jump on it. He was flying. Great jump, read it, and it was slow enough that he could get there."

The Twins haven't scored many runs lately, and they wasted a serviceable start by pitcher Kevin Correia, who had gave up eight hits and one walk and struck out six batters -- many times just when he needed to.

"It was kind of a weird game," Correia said. "I threw a lot of pitches in five innings and didn't really walk many guys. Usually, you've got a lot of walks or a lot of strikeouts to throw that many pitches.

"It was just one of those games, throwing against a guy like Cliff Lee -- one of the best in the game for a long time. You don't have the luxury of giving up many runs. One in the first -- I had to hold them there and I was able to work out of five jams in five innings."

The Twins had come from behind in the eighth inning in the previous two games of the series, but Phillies relievers shut them down in the final two innings, with Jonathan Papelbon picking up his 12th save.

Revere, who came into the game batting 4-for-8 in his old ballpark, went 4-for-6, including a triple.

"Best game I've seen him play so far," Manuel said. "Without a doubt, that's the best he's hit the ball, that's the best he's run. His speed definitely played a factor in the game tonight. That's the best I've seen him play."

NOTES: The Twins failed to finish their fifth series sweep of the Phillies, though the first four were sweeps of two-game series. ... Through 67 games this season, the Phillies scored three runs or fewer 37 times (55.2 percent), and that includes each of the three games in Minnesota. ... Overall, the Phillies began the day ranked 18th in the majors in slugging percentage (.395) despite Domonic Brown ranking second in the majors with 19 home runs.
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