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Phillies 8, Mets 3: Cliff Lee pitches near-complete game

Cliff Lee is well ahead of his 2012 pace in terms of wins. On Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park Lee earned his second win of the season in as many starts. Last season it took Lee until July 31 to pick up his second win of the year. Lee was in command from start to finish on the mound and nearly went the distance and Ryan Howard, Michael Young and John Mayberry all hit home runs in the third inning to pace the Phillies to an 8-3 win against the New York Mets.

Charlie Manuel made the decision to relieve Lee with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, a move not so supported by the fans in attendance. The Phillies owned an 8-3 lead and Lee had let two base runners on. Just over 100 pitches, Manuel decided to bring in reliever Mike Adams to record the final out rather than allow Lee to try and finish the job.

"That was tough," Manuel said. "I want Cliff to finish the game, but at the same time I didn't want him to get into a big inning there."

Adams made quick work of Robin Tejada, striking him out looking for the final out and the victory.

The Good

Cliff Lee improved to 2-0 and came within one out of a complete game. Lee threw first-pitch strikes to 27 of 34 batters faced and struck out six batters. He also helped his own cause with an RBI single.

Ryan Howard hit his first home run of the season and Michael Young followed with his first home run of the year. John Mayberry Jr. also got in on the home run action with his first home run of the season. All three home runs were hit in the third inning off of Mets starter Dillon Gee.

Young went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in and Mayberry recorded a team-high three RBIs.

The Bad

There really was not much of anything to complain about in Tuesday night's game. Leadoff hitter Ben Revere was 1-for-5 but on a night when the team scores eight runs and the starter nearly goes a complete game, that would be nitpicking.

Everybody hits? Almost

The Phillies nearly had everybody in the starting lineup pick up a base hit Tuesday night but Chase Utley went 0-2. Utley did walk twice though so everybody in the starting lineup managed to reach base at some point in the game.

National League East Update

The Atlanta Braves improved on their MLB-best record to 7-1 with another victory over the Miami Marlins. The Braves struck early with a two-run home run from Evan Gattis and Justin Upton doubled home Andrelton Simmons in the eighth inning and the Braves held on for the 3-2 victory. Placido Polanco had two hits and an RBI for the floundering Marlins.

The Washington Nationals won a wild one in the nation's capital against the Chicago White Sox, 8-7. Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche each homered in the sixth inning to give the Nationals a 6-2 lead and the bullpen held off a late rally by the visiting White Sox in the ninth to pick up the win in interleague play.

Place Team W L GB
1 Atlanta Braves 7 1
2 Washington Nationals 5 2 1.5
3 New York Mets 5 3 2.0
4 Philadelphia Phillies 3 5 4.0
5 Miami Marlins 1 7 6.0

What's Next?

The Phillies look to win their first series of the season when Kyle Kendrick takes the mound in the series finale. Kendrick was pulled last week against Kansas City once he got in to a jam with a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning. The Royals then took the lead and blew the game wide open with a 13-4 win. Kendrick is 5-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 18 career games against the Mets. The Mets will counter with Jeremy Hefner, who pitched six innings in his first start of the year, holding the Marlins to one run and five hits in six innings.

Quotes provided by MLB.com.

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