PHILADELPHIA » Roy Oswalt watched Philadelphia’s other two aces do their job, then he outdid them.
Oswalt and a pair of relievers combined on a one-hitter and the NL East-leading Phillies beat Atlanta 1-0 last night for their 10th straight win, increasing their bulge over the Braves to six games.
Raul Ibanez hit an RBI double with two outs in the eighth inning for the only run, helping the two-time NL champions reduce their magic number for clinching their fourth straight division title to four. It was the Phillies’ first home sweep over the Braves since 2001.
"I think the faster we get it done, the better off we’ll be," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Oswalt allowed just one hit — a clean double by Martin Prado in the fourth — and one walk in seven scoreless innings.
While the Braves used two rookies — Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy, who made his major league debut on Monday — to start the first two games of a crucial series, the Phillies adjusted their rotation so their three aces would pitch.
Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay delivered in the first two games. Oswalt pitched even better, though he didn’t get the win.
"I didn’t want them to do something I couldn’t do," Oswalt said. "I’m trying to push them as much as possible and they’re doing that off me. Anytime you feed off each other, it helps down the stretch."
Ryan Madson (6-2) pitched a perfect eighth for the win. Brad Lidge finished for his 26th save in 31 chances, earning a save in each game of this series. He retired Prado on a shallow fly to right to leave the tying run at second.
Jonny Venters (4-3) hit Chase Utley with a pitch to start Philadelphia’s eighth. After Ryan Howard grounded into a double play, Jayson Werth walked.
Ibanez then hit an opposite-field drive that sliced into the left-field corner. Left fielder Nate McLouth overthrew the relay man and Werth slid home safely for a 1-0 lead. Philadelphia won with only four hits.
The Phillies are 44-15 since July 21, when they trailed the Braves by seven games. They are 18-3 in September.
A crowd of 45,310 was the 120th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park.
Fans waved their white-and-red "Fightin’ Phils" rally towels, and chanted "Sweep! Sweep!" They had to leave their brooms in the parking lot because those aren’t allowed in the stadium.
Braves starter Tommy Hanson tossed six scoreless innings, giving up two hits and three walks.
Hanson didn’t allow a hit until one out in the fifth when Carlos Ruiz lined a double that McLouth slid past. Hanson struck out St. Anthony alumnus Shane Victorino looking at a fastball down the middle to end the inning and strand runners at second and third.
"Oswalt was as good as you can pitch and Hanson was the same," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Hanson was dominating. He’s had no luck. We can’t score runs for him."
PHILLIES 1, BRAVES 0
|OInfant 2b||4||0||0||0||Victorino cf||3||0||0||0|
|Heywrd rf||3||0||0||0||Polanc 3b||4||0||0||0|
|Prado 3b||4||0||1||0||Utley 2b||2||0||1||0|
|McCnn c||2||0||0||0||Howard 1b||4||0||0||0|
|D.Lee 1b||3||0||0||0||Werth rf||1||1||0||0|
|McLoth lf||3||0||0||0||Ibanez lf||4||0||1||1|
|AlGnzlz ss||3||0||0||0||C.Ruiz c||3||0||2||0|
|Ankiel cf||3||0||0||0||WValdz ss||2||0||0||0|
|Hanson p||2||0||0||0||Oswalt p||1||0||0||0|
|Moylan p||0||0||0||0||Dobbs ph||1||0||0||0|
|Kimrel p||0||0||0||0||Madson p||0||0||0||0|
|Venters p||0||0||0||0||Lidge p||0||0||0||0|
E–McCann (13). DP–Atlanta 1. LOB–Atlanta 3, Philadelphia 10. 2B–Prado (40), Ibanez (35), C.Ruiz (25). SB–Heyward (10), Utley (11), Werth (12). S–W.Valdez, Oswalt.
HBP–by Venters (Utley, C.Ruiz), by Hanson (Utley). WP–Kimbrel.
Umpires–Home, Larry Vanover; First, Jeff Nelson; Second, Mark Carlson; Third, Jeff Kellogg.
T–2:47. A–45,310 (43,651).