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Howard, Phillies top Braves in 9th to finish sweep

ATLANTA (AP) - Ryan Howard drove in two runs in the ninth inning with his third double of the game and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 today to complete a three-game sweep.

Howard finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

The game was tied at 3 through eight innings, but the Phillies bullied Blaine Boyer for four hits and three runs in the ninth, including a single by Shane Victorino that drove in the go-ahead run.

The Phillies boosted their road record to 18-13, best in the National League, and have won 15 of 19 overall.

Philadelphia also improved to 5-1 against the Braves and became the first visiting team to sweep a three-game series in Atlanta this season.

The Braves played without Chipper Jones, who said he has a small tear of his right quadriceps. He also could miss one or two games at the Chicago Cubs this week.

Chad Durbin (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win and Brad Lidge earned his 17th save with a perfect ninth inning.

Pinch-hitter Eric Bruntlett singled with one out in the ninth off Boyer (1-4) and moved to second on Jimmy Rollins' single to right.

Victorino drove in Bruntlett with a single to center and moved to second when Gregor Blanco's throw to the plate was up the first-base line.

Boyer's intentional walk to Chase Utley loaded the bases, and Howard lined the next pitch from Boyer over left fielder Josh Anderson's head for a two-run double.

The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the first on three hits, but the lead didn't last long wh Yunel Escobar double and Mark Teixeira tied the score with a homer to right.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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