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Dwight Howard Watches Phillies Edge Dodgers 3-2

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Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies strikes out swinging in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the MLB game at Dodger Stadium on July 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies strikes out swinging in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the MLB game at Dodger Stadium on July 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Roy Halladay pitched five effective innings in his first start off the disabled list, Hunter Pence hit a go-ahead, two-out single in the eighth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory.

The Phillies loaded the bases in the eighth when Ronald Belisario (3-1) walked Chase Utley with two outs, then hit Ryan Howard on the foot with a 1-2 pitch and plunked Carlos Ruiz on a full count. Pence greeted Kenley Jansen with a sharp single to center, scoring Utley and pinch-runner John Mayberry Jr. and giving him a team-high 55 RBIs.

It was Jansen’s first appearance since he was on the mound when San Diego’s Everth Cabrera stole home for the tying run in the Dodgers’ 7-6 loss on Saturday night. Jansen has five blown saves in 21 opportunities.

Halladay threw 80 pitches, allowing two runs and five hits with six strikeouts and no walks. The 35-year-old right-hander hadn’t pitched for the Phillies since May 27 at St. Louis, when he faced 11 batters over two innings and gave up a grand slam to Yadier Molina during his 8-3 loss. He was diagnosed with a latissimus dorsi strain and missed 42 games.

Kyle Kendrick (3-8) got the victory, allowing two hits in 1 2-3 scoreless innings. Jonathan Papelbon, the sixth Phillies pitcher, worked a perfect ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances.

Stephen Fife pitched six sharp innings in his major league debut for the Dodgers. The bespectacled 25-year-old right-hander yielded a run and four hits, walked three and struck out one while throwing 90 pitches. He was promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque when Chad Billingsley went on the disabled list, retroactive to July 8, because of inflammation in his right elbow.

The Dodgers acquired Fife from Boston in a three-team trade that sent switch-hitting outfielder Trayvon Robinson to Seattle at the non-waiver trade deadline last year. He was 7-5 with a 4.53 ERA in 18 starts with Albuquerque.

The Dodgers were clinging to a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Howard drew a one-out walk, advanced on a wild pitch and tried to score on a line-drive single by Pence. But Kemp made a one-hop throw to A.J. Ellis, who stretched to his left to get the ball and made a lunging tag on Howard as he slid in head-first.

Kemp got another assist in the eighth, erasing Ruiz at third base for the third out after coming up throwing on Pence’s clutch hit. But it wasn’t enough to prevent the Dodgers’ fourth straight loss and 19th in their last 25 games.

The first two batters Halladay faced, Bobby Abreu and Mark Ellis, were called out on strikes by umpire Wally Bell. Abreu tossed his bat away after a 3-2 pitch and headed to first base, thinking he had walked. Ellis also had a few words for Bell before going back to the dugout. But the Dodgers opened the second inning with four straight hits and took a 2-1 lead with RBI singles by James Loney and Luis Cruz.

Jimmy Rollins opened the game with a double on Fife’s second pitch and scored on Utley’s groundout.

Dwight Howard was spotted watching the game inside a private suite.

NOTES: The Phillies freed up a roster spot for Halladay by optioning RHP Brian Sanches to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Sanches allowed seven runs, 12 hits and four homers over 6 1-3 innings in his six relief appearances. In addition, all four of his inherited baserunners scored. … Halladay, who finished runner-up in last year’s NL Cy Young voting to the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, is four strikeouts away from 2,000 in his career. … Fife played in the 1999 Little League World Series. … Wednesday’s series finale matches 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee against reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, who is 0-4 with a 4.95 ERA in seven regular-season starts against the Phillies. Lee is 1-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 15 starts this season, after going 17-8 last year. … Dodgers RHP Todd Coffey is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday for the second time in his career, due to a partially torn ligament in his right elbow.

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