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National League Game Summary - Philadelphia at Milwaukee

(Friday, September 9th)

Final Score: Philadelphia 5, Milwaukee 3

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Ryan Howard hit a three-run homer and Roy Halladay pitched eight strong innings, as the National League East-leading Phillies held off the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-3, in the second test of a four- game series.

Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez had an RBI apiece for Philadelphia, which has won five in a row to build an 11-game lead over the Braves in the division.

Halladay (17-5) allowed one run on four hits to pick up the victory. He struck out nine to surpass 200 strikeouts for the fourth straight year.

Yuniesky Betancourt drove in two runs for the NL Central-leading Brewers, who have lost four straight games and sit seven ahead of the Cardinals in the division.

Shaun Marcum (12-6) gave up five runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings to take the loss. He walked four and struck out two.

The Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence singled to put men on the corners with one out. Howard stepped to the plate and crushed Marcum's offering into the second deck in right.

"It's always important to get him (Halladay) off to a good start," Howard said. "Roy was classic Roy tonight."

Philadelphia had a chance to extend its margin in the third, loading the bases with two outs, but Wilson Valdez grounded out to end the threat.

The Brewers loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but Halladay got Betancourt to ground into a double play to keep it a 3-0 game.

"You don't get many chances off Halladay," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "When we had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth, that was our shot."

The Phillies got two more runs for Halladay in the seventh. Placido Polanco hit a one-out double down the left-field line and Howard was intentionally walked two batters later before Ibanez followed with an RBI single to center. Takashi Saito took over for Marcum and gave up consecutive singles to Pete Orr and Ruiz to plate another run. Valdez went down swinging to end the frame, but not before the visitors took a 5-0 lead.

Milwaukee got a run back in the home seventh. Casey McGehee led off with a double over the head of Pence in right, moved to third on Taylor Green's groundout and scored on Betancourt's sacrifice fly.

The Brewers made things a bit interesting in the ninth. Antonio Bastardo started the frame on the mound for Philly and got into some trouble. Prince Fielder singled and McGehee walked. Ryan Madson came in from the bullpen and got pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. to ground out. Betancourt's RBI single and a Jonathan Lucroy sacrifice fly cut the gap to 5-3. Madson got pinch-hitter George Kottaras to ground out for his 29th save of the season.

Game Notes

The Phillies have won nine of the past 12 games in this series...Halladay has recorded 200 strikeouts five times over his career...Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel earned his 637th victory with the Phillies to move ahead of Harry Wright for second on the club's all-time list. He is eight shy of Gene Mauch (645 wins from 1960-68)...The Phillies are a club-record 45 games over .500 this season (93-48)...Philadelphia also owns a magic number of nine to claim its fifth straight NL East title.

09/10 00:24:51 ET

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