Cliff Lee struck out 10 during the Phillies' 2-1 win over the Braves. (AP)
Cody Asche hit a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning and Cliff Lee allowed just two hits in eight innings of work as the Phillies rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Asche homered off lefty Mike Minor, who had been cruising through the first 6 2/3 innings of the game. The Phillies didn’t get their first hit until the fourth inning and had just three hitters reach base with two outs in the seventh inning.
That’s when Darin Ruf worked a seven-pitch single to left for the Phillies’ third hit before Asche hit the first pitch he saw into the seats in right for the winning margin.
The victory improves the Phillies to 64-77, 21½ games behind the first-place Braves in the NL East.
Lee struck out 10 hitters, giving him double digits in strikeouts for the third time this season and 26th time of his career. He allowed one run on a solo homer to Andrelton Simmons in the third inning. Lee also allowed a single with two outs in the second and hit a batter in the fourth.
Lee (12-6) threw 18 first-pitch strikes to the 27 hitters he faced and was faced with one three-ball count.
Minor allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings. The lefty had nine strikeouts and fell to 13-6 with the loss.
Jonathan Papelbon faced four hitters in the ninth to nail down his 25th save of the season in 31 chances.
At the plate
Asche had two of the Phillies’ four hits, boosting his season average to .287. Since starting his stint with the Phillies 1 for 17, Asche is 28 for 84 (.333) with four homers and 18 RBIs.
For the Braves, Simmons hit his 14th homer of the season.
The series continues Saturday night when Kyle Kendrick (10-12, 4.51) faces lefty Alex Wood (3-3, 3.15). Kendrick allowed six runs on 11 hits in five innings in his only start against the Braves this season. He is 7-2 with a 3.20 ERA in 20 outings during his career vs. Atlanta.
Wood has faced the Phillies three times with one start this season. He is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. Wood beat the Phillies on Aug. 4 when he allowed two hits and a run in six innings.