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September 15, 2009

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Phillies sweep Mets doubleheader

PEDRO Martinez was considered finished. Then he put on the Phillies pinstripes and made everyone remember how good he once was.

And still is.

The 37-year-old is healthy and pitching like his old Cy Young self and giving the Phillies every reason to believe he can keep this going the rest of September - and October.

Martinez tossed six-hit ball and threw 130 pitches in eight shutout innings, leading National League East-leading Philadelphia to a 1-0 win over the New York Mets and a doubleheader sweep on Sunday night.

"I came here with the mentality that, in the last quarter of the season, I could help this team when it matters probably the most," he said. "I think today was a good example of what really mattered - to give the bullpen a rest, to help your teammates when you're needed."

Ryan Madson worked a scoreless ninth for his eighth save after Brad Lidge finished the opener, won 5-4 by the Phillies.

Martinez (5-0) was still going strong when he hit 120 kilometers per hour and fanned David Wright for the first out in the eighth and officially made it his longest outing of the year.

Tim Redding (2-6) was just as effective over six innings and retired 14 straight at one point, allowing only Chase Utley's RBI single in the first inning.

Martinez could be 7-0 if he didn't run into some bad luck with rain and have two starts cut short. He's pitched at least six innings in each of his last three starts, allowing just four runs. Martinez has a 6-2 career postseason record and would be a good fit in the Phillies rotation if they win their third straight NL East title.

Elsewhere in the NL, it was: Nationals 7, Marlins 2; Pirates 2, Astros 1; Braves 9, Cardinals 2; Cubs 5, Reds 2; Padres 7, Rockies 3; Giants 7, Dodgers 2; and Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 3.

In the American League, it was: Yankees 13, Orioles 3; Royals 7, Indians 0; Tigers 7, Blue Jays 2; Twins 8, Athletics 0; Angels 3, White Sox 2; Rangers 7, Mariners 2 (1st game); Mariners 5, Rangers 0 (2nd game); Red Sox 3, Rays 1 (1st game); and Red Sox 4, Rays 0 (2nd game).

In the opener, Kyle Kendrick (1-1) pitched into the eighth and Shane Victorino and Ben Francisco each homered.

Lidge, temporarily demoted from his Phillies closer role this week, gave up two runs in the ninth but finished for his 29th save in 39 opportunities.

The Mets were mathematically eliminated from contention.


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