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Lee spins three-hit shutout on Nats

POSTED April 15, 2011 8:12 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Back at his best after an unusually brief outing, Cliff Lee struck out 12 in a three-hit shutout Thursday night, allowing the Philadelphia Phillies to overcome their own problems at the plate in a 4-0 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Lee (2-1) walked one and faced 30 batters, three over the minimum. Quite a turnaround from his previous game at Atlanta last Friday, when he allowed six runs and 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings — his shortest start since Sept. 4, 2009.

This was the second night in a row that Philadelphia got a complete game: Roy Halladay did it Wednesday in a 3-2 victory at Nationals Park. The Phillies hadn't gotten consecutive complete games since May 11-12, 1999, at St. Louis, when Paul Byrd and Curt Schilling did it.

Jordan Zimmermann (1-2) retired the first 15 Phiilies he faced, but the 16th, Carlos Ruiz, drove an 0-1 pitch barely over the wall in left for a leadoff homer in the sixth. Shane Victorino doubled later in the inning and scored on a wild pitch.

That would be all Lee would need.

Rockies 6, Mets 5, first game

Rockies 9, Mets 4, second game

NEW YORK — Troy Tulowitzki belted his major league-leading seventh homer during the second game of a doubleheader to help Colorado wrap up a four-game series sweep.

Tulowitzki also homered in the opener before the Rockies' bullpen held on in a wild ninth inning. The sweet-swinging shortstop terrorized New York pitching all series, going deep each game and finishing 10 for 16 with eight RBIs.

The Rockies (10-2), off to the best start in franchise history, have won five straight and 10 of 11 overall, the lone defeat coming against Pittsburgh in extra innings.

The Mets (4-9) are headed the other way, losing five straight and eight of nine.

Greg Reynolds (1-0) won Game 1 despite a couple shaky innings, and Jorge De La Rosa (2-0) held on long enough in the second game for the Rockies' offense to deliver his win.

Colorado had been 6-23 on the road against the Mets dating to 2003, and had not won three straight in Queens since 1994 — back when Shea Stadium was still standing.

The Rockies turned that trend around, even after spotting the Mets 2-0 leads in both games Thursday. In fact, New York has scored first in six straight games while winning just once.

R.A. Dickey (1-2) and Chris Capuano (1-1) took the losses for the Mets.

Cardinals 9, Dodgers 5

LOS ANGELES — Albert Pujols homered for the second time this season and Matt Holliday drove in three runs and scored twice for St. Louis.

Jaime Garcia (2-0) allowed three runs — two earned — and five hits in five innings, struck out two and walked two. The left-hander had only allowed one run in his two previous starts.

Hiroki Kuroda (2-1) gave up 10 hits and six runs — five earned — in five innings, struck out three and threw a career-high three wild pitches in the Dodgers' third straight loss.

Pujols sent a 3-2 pitch from Kuroda into the lower left field seats with one out in the fifth, extending the Cardinals' lead to 5-3. The slugger has gotten off to a slow start since this season and was 7 for 28 on the road trip before homering.

Matt Kemp had two RBIs and three hits, including a homer in the ninth, and Jamey Carroll had three hits for the Dodgers.

Brewers 4, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH — Randy Wolf had 10 strikeouts and allowed only three hits in 6 2-3 shutout innings to lead Milwaukee to its fourth straight win and seventh in eight games.

Wolf (1-2) allowed only two singles, a double and two walks, and didn't allow a Pittsburgh runner to advance past second base. John Axford allowed a run on two walks, a single and a wild pitch in the ninth to prevent Milwaukee's second consecutive shutout.

Pittsburgh managed four hits to fall to 1-5 on its opening homestand. The Pirates snapped a streak of 22 scoreless innings when Andrew McCutchen scored in the ninth.

Price Fielder had a run-scoring single in the first — his NL-leading 15th RBI — and Yuniesky Betancourt added a sacrifice fly. The Brewers added two in the ninth off Joel Hanrahan.

Paul Maholm (0-2) retired 20 of his final 23 batters. He was charged with two runs on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts in seven innings.

Marlins 6, Braves 5

ATLANTA — John Buck drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning single to help Florida win its second straight road series.

Buck was 0 for 9 in the series before driving in Gaby Sanchez from second base with the single off Eric O'Flaherty (0-1) to break a 5-5 tie.

The Marlins have won two of three in both Houston and Atlanta for a successful start to their nine-game road trip, which shifts to Philadelphia on Friday.

Sanchez had two hits, including his first homer. Logan Morrison had a two-run double and Hanley Ramirez was on base five times with three hits, including an RBI single, and two walks.

Brian McCann hit a three-run home run and Dan Uggla also homered for Atlanta.

Brian Sanches (2-0) pitched a scoreless sixth to earn the win and Leo Nunez pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Astros 1, Padres 0

HOUSTON — Bud Norris and the Houston bullpen combined on a three-hitter, and Michael Bourn singled home the only run for Houston.

Norris (1-1) gave up two hits and struck out seven in six innings. He retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced, and his sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the sixth set up Bourn's RBI hit off Dustin Moseley (0-3).

Relievers Fernando Abad, Mark Melancon and Brandon Lyon combined to close out the win. Lyon pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.

Moseley allowed seven hits in 6 2-3 innings and once again was the victim of the Padres' poor run support. San Diego's three shutouts this season have all come in his starts.

The Padres had several chances to score and stranded seven runners.


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