Philadelphia, PA – It's been nearly a year since Cliff Lee earned a victory at Citizens Bank Park, but the longest home losing skid of his career is finally over.
Lee (3-7) allowed just one run over seven strong innings, scattering seven hits and striking out five to help the Philadelphia Phillies complete a three- game sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 4-1 triumph on Sunday.
"It's been a strange year," Lee admitted. "The only thing I can really control is my preparation, focusing on my routine and trying to keep my mind in the moment. Hopefully, I can keep that going and finish this year strong."
The 33-year-old left-hander didn't walk a batter in the win, his second of the season against the Nats, while Josh Lindblom recorded the final two outs of the eighth and fired a perfect ninth to nail down his first major league save.
Lee added an RBI double at the plate, while Jimmy Rollins and Laynce Nix each homered to secure the Phillies' second sweep of the season and extend their winning streak to four games.
Jordan Zimmermann (9-8) was tagged with the loss after giving up three runs on five hits and three walks over five frames.
"I wanted to go as deep as I could," Zimmermann remarked. "The first four (innings) were a breeze, then I hit a wall and made a couple of bad pitches."
Tyler Moore clubbed a pair of doubles and knocked in the lone run for the Nationals, who dropped their fourth straight contest.
After the Nationals wasted a one-out double in the top of the fifth, the Phillies broke the scoreless tie in the bottom half.
Kevin Frandsen singled to start the frame and moved to second on a passed ball. Lee then helped his own cause two batters later when he lifted a double over the head of Bryce Harper in center field to score Frandsen for a 1-0 lead.
"His hit was real big," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Lee's double. "It got us on the board."
Rollins followed with his 15th homer of the season, a two-run shot into the first row in right field to press the margin to 3-0.
Tom Gorzelanny replaced Zimmermann to start the sixth and Nix greeted him by launching his third offering into the right-field seats to give Philadelphia a 4-0 advantage.
The Phillies caught a break in the seventh after Jayson Werth singled and moved to second on a throwing error by Lee.
Adam LaRoche then belted a fly ball to right field that hit the top of the fence and bounced back into play. Werth and LaRoche thought the ball had cleared the fence and began trotting around the bases.
Nix alertly picked the ball up and fired into the infield to catch LaRoche between second and third. The umpires reviewed the play, but ruled the ball did not clear the fence, leaving Werth at third with one out.
"I screwed up," LaRoche said. "I should have stopped at second. I didn't see a signal by the ump."
Werth quickly scored when Moore scorched a double into left field to bring the Nationals within 4-1 before Lee recorded the final two outs of the seventh.
Jeremy Horst served up a double to Roger Bernadina to start the eighth before grounding out Danny Espinosa.
Lindblom took over from there, retiring all five Nationals he faced in order to complete the victory.
Juan Pierre tied Maury Wills for 19th place on the all-time steals list with 586 after stealing his 32nd base of the season in the fifth inning ... The Phils improved to 8-15 when Lee takes the mound this season ... Lee's last win at home came on Sept. 5 of last season, when he tossed a five-hit shutout in a 9-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves ... The Nationals have been swept four times this season ... Washington is winless in 12 games when scoring less than three runs since the All-Star break.