PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cody Asche hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and Cliff Lee outdueled fellow left-hander Mike Minor as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 on Friday night.
After surrendering a homer to Andrelton Simmons leading off the third inning, Lee (12-6) didn’t allow a hit through eight innings. He finished with 10 strikeouts without a walk, giving up just two hits.
Asche, who was called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on July 31, hit his fourth homer of the season and is 7 for 11 with five RBIs in his last three games. The rookie third baseman boosted his average to .287 despite starting out his major league career on a 1-for-17 streak.
Asche’s homer came on the first pitch he saw from Minor in the seventh. In his first time facing the Phillies this season, Minor (13-6) allowed four hits and two earned runs in seven innings, striking out nine and walking one.
Jonathan Papelbon recorded his 25th save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
Lee, who had allowed eight runs combined in his previous two starts against the Braves, was backed up by some impressive defensive plays.
In the sixth inning, second baseman Chase Utley made a sprawling catch to rob Justin Upton of a base hit. And two innings before that, center fielder Cesar Hernandez ran a long way to track down a shot in the gap from Evan Gattis.
Simmons homered to left field to lead off the third inning. It was the 14th homer of the season for Simmons and the league-leading 161st for the Braves.
Simmons made a big defensive play at shortstop, going deep in the hole and firing a rocket to first to nab the speedy Jimmy Rollins to end the sixth.
Rollins got the Phillies’ first hit of the game with a bloop single to lead off the fourth but was thrown out trying to extend it into a double. No Phillie got into scoring position until Asche’s homer in the seventh.
NOTES: Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee told reporters before the game that Ethan Martin would move to the bullpen with Tyler Cloyd replacing him in the rotation. A former first-round draft pick who was traded to the Phils for Shane Victorino last year, Martin went 2-4 with a 6.90 ERA in seven starts since getting called up from Triple-A. . The Braves dipped to 34-35 on the road this season. They are 51-20 at home . Atlanta had won eight of its last 10 and was 29-10 in their last 39 games before Friday’s loss. . Eight of Simmons’ last nine hits have gone for extra bases. . Lee has given up 19 homers, the most on the Phillies’ staff. . Atlanta’s Alex Wood (3-3) opposes Kyle Kendrick (10-12) on Saturday.
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