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Phillies 7, Pirates 3: Ryan Howard, Roy Halladay Help Phils Avoid Sweep

Roy Halladay served up a first inning two run homer to Pirates 2B Neil Walker, but those were the only runs he’d allow for the remainder of his day as the Phillies defeated the Pirates 7-3. It was Halladay’s 8th win, which ties him for the NL lead. He allowed six hits over seven innings, striking out six.

The Phillies pounded out 14 hits, but left 16 men on base, which is the most they’ve left this season in a 9 inning game. Ryan Howard had a three RBI day, Chase Utley had his first three hit game of the year and Raul Ibanez recorded his 1000th career RBI. It was an all around big day for Utley, who also had the defensive highlight of the game with a full extension, diving catch in the seventh that ended the inning and saved a run. Ironically, Utley robbed Jose Tabata, who had hit a ball that bounced over Utley's glove to win the first game of the series.

The Phillies not only avoid the sweep with today’s win but reclaim the best overall record in baseball. Also, despite riding a four game losing streak into this afternoon, the Phils extended their lead in the NL East to three games thanks the Marlins being swept by the Brewers.

Today’s game took about 3 hours and 35 minutes, which was the longest nine inning game of the season for the Phils so far.

The Phillies come back to Citizens Bank Park for an 11 game home stand tomorrow night as Cliff Lee takes the hill against Tedd Lilly and the Los Angeles Dodgers.