Final in 12

Series: Game 3 of 3

Philadelphia won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, May 12
Philadelphia8Final
Cincinnati4
Game 2: Saturday, May 13
Philadelphia2Final
Cincinnati0
Game 3: Sunday, May 14
Philadelphia2Final
in 12
Cincinnati1

Phillies 2

(22-15, 10-4 away)

Reds 1

(23-15, 12-8 home)

1:15 PM ET, May 14, 2006

Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio 

23456789101112 R H E
PHI 00000010001 2 8 0
CIN 00010000000 1 9 1

W: G. Geary (1-0)

L: C. Hammond (0-1)

S: T. Gordon (13)

Pair of Howard homers tie, win game for Phils' 13th victory in 14 games

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Ryan Howard was tired and aching when he came to bat a few hours after his late-night trip to the emergency room. Two nonstop trips around the bases made him feel a little better.

Out of the lineup because of a stomach illness, Howard got into the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and hit a tying homer. He connected again in the 12th for a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday that extended the Phillies' remarkable two-week tear.

Philadelphia won for the 13th time in 14 games, completing its first three-game sweep in Cincinnati since September 2002.

"We come to the ballpark expecting to win," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Right now, we're good as far as being together and our chemistry and how we look at things. I've got a good feeling about our club right now."

Howard wasn't feeling very good when his 12th homer off left-hander Chris Hammond (0-1) finished the longest game of the season for both teams. It was his third two-homer game of the season. Both homers came off left-handed pitchers.

Howard, who bats left-handed, had another thing going against him besides the pitcher matchups. He got a stomach illness Saturday night and went to a hospital emergency room, staying for a few hours for treatment.

Working on only a few hours of sleep, Howard had no expectations when he came to bat. He was stunned when the ball cleared the wall -- twice, no less.

"I have no clue. It just happened," said Howard, who homered three times in the series. "I felt weak, tired. I was just trying to see some pitches. I was just being very selective."

Geoff Geary (1-0) pitched out of a two-on, two-out threat in the 11th to get the victory, a day after he was recalled from Triple-A. Tom Gordon got the last three outs for his 13th save in 14 tries.

The Reds have lost three in a row for the first time this season, a slump that knocked them out of first place in the NL Central. The league's highest-scoring offense has gone cold, scoring one run or less in six of the last 11 games.

"Offensively, it's been tough," manager Jerry Narron said. "We're not scoring runs. We're not getting hits early in the game. But if we continue to pitch the way we have the past couple of days, we're going to win a lot of games because we'll break out of it."

Cincinnati's Jason LaRue hit a solo homer with a pink bat inscribed with his mother's name, providing the only run off a Phillies starter in the series. Left-hander Brandon Claussen made the 1-0 lead stand until the weary Howard came to the plate in the eighth.

A day after Philadelphia's Jon Lieber retired the first 20 batters on his way to a 2-0 victory, Claussen was almost as stingy, blanking the Phillies on a pair of hits before Howard's third career pinch-hit homer tied it at 1. It was the first pinch-hit homer by the Phillies this season.

"Everything was good," Claussen said. "I just made one mistake. What's done is done. They're playing good baseball right now."

Numerous players from both teams used pink bats, part of major league baseball's support of the fight against breast cancer. Ken Griffey Jr. used one inscribed with the name of his mother, Alberta, and liked the way it felt.

"I'm telling you, they're not getting this one back," he said, swinging it in the clubhouse before the game.

It felt better than it worked. Griffey went 0-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout.

Then again, none of the Reds' bats worked very well against the Phillies' starters during the series. Cole Hamels and Lieber combined for 13 2-3 shutout innings in the first two games.

Brett Myers extended the streak to 17 2-3 innings before LaRue -- using a pink bat inscribed with Melanie LaRue -- hit a solo homer off the facing of the upper deck in the fifth inning.

It was the only mistake in seven innings by Myers, who got hit hard in his first two starts of the season but has since gone on a roll. The right-hander has given up only 10 earned runs in his last six starts, a 2.11 ERA over that span.

Game notes


The Phillies are 2-0 in extra innings, the Reds 1-1. ... Philadelphia's Bobby Abreu sat out a second straight game because of mild back spasms. ... The Reds put LH reliever Kent Mercker on the 15-day disabled list with a sore elbow and called up RH Mike Burns from Triple-A. ... Reds LHP Eric Milton, on the DL following knee surgery, is expected to start the Hall of Fame game Monday in Cooperstown, N.Y., against Pittsburgh. ... Claussen went eight innings, matching his career high. ... The Reds have given up four pinch-hit homers this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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