Friday, March 21, 2014

Lee goes six strong, offense not enough; Phillies tie Red Sox

By SAMUEL BOTWINICK | Staff Writer
March 21, 2014, 4:15 p.m.
@avdbkr20samuel

Cliff Lee pitched well on Friday at Bright House Field against the Red Sox, but it wasn't enough to lift the Phillies over the Sox.  Instead, the teams deadlocked at 2 after 10 innings were completed.

After already cementing his job as the opening day starter for the Phillies, Lee wanted to prove that he still has what it takes to maintain that job based on merit, and not just on 'luck.'  

In typical Lee fashion, he let his results do the talking instead of his mouth; tossing six innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits, while striking out three and walking one in a no decision.

Jon Lester, who opposed Lee, had a strong outing as well.  The left hander yielded four hits, allowed no runs in 5 2/3 innings, and punched out five..

The game was tight through the first five innings.  There was not a great deal of offensive production on either side.  The Red Sox ended up with two runs on only four hits, while the Phillies had nine hits but with only two runs to show for on the scoreboard.  

The offensive drought changed in the top of the sixth, though.  With two outs and a man on first/second for the Red Sox, Cliff Lee yielded a two-run double to catcher A.J. Pierzynski to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.

With the Phillies' struggles this Spring, that blemish could have been enough to make Lee the loser in Friday's game.  In the bottom of the eighth, though, Tony Gwynn Jr. helped reverse that result with a solo shot to right off right hander Brayan Villarreal to bring the Phillies within one.

On Friday it was a team effort.  As the old baseball adage goes, "a bloop and a blast ties it." 

The Phillies reversed that order.  First came the blast.  Then with two outs and two on, came the bloop; a single by right fielder Clete Thomas that dropped in front of shortstop Jonathan Herrera, which enabled Rollins to score from third and for the Phillies to tie the game at 2.

News and Notes:  The bullpen shut out the Red Sox for four innings.  The Phillies will look to get a result when they travel to McKechnie Field to play the Pirates tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.  A.J. Burnett will be slated against the pitcher whom he made his Phillies' debut against, Stolmy Pimentel. 

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is the top baseball news blog in Philadelphia, providing news coverage and analysis of the 2014 Phillies and baseball in the Philadelphia-region. 

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