Lee wins in Phillies debut, beats Giants

August 1, 2009 12:11:14 PM PDT
Cliff Lee had his teammates shaking their heads.

On paper, Philadelphia's acquisition of Lee from the Cleveland Indians seemed brilliant. The star left-hander then showed the Phillies in person just what an impact he can have on a team already loaded with talent.

Lee pitched a four-hitter, carrying a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and even adding two hits with the bat, and the Phillies beat the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Friday night two days after trading for Lee.

"I'm kind of glad I didn't throw a no-hitter," Lee said following his fabulous debut. "If I did that the first time, I'd have to live up to some high expectations."

Lee spotted his fastball with precision, and his curveball, too. What a way for the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner to start his days in the National League. He's made it known he wants to help the World Series champions to a repeat title.

"That was a good one, huh?" reliever Tyler Walker said, chuckling at Lee's dominance. "Good trade."

Jayson Werth homered to put Philadelphia ahead early and added a two-run single in the seventh, Raul Ibanez drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh for an insurance run and Lee did the rest.

He dazzled from the start for the World Series champions, tossing his 11th career complete game, fourth this season and third in four starts. Lee's line: one run, six strikeouts, two walks, 109 pitches and 78 strikes. He was done in 2 hours, 39 minutes, getting a hug from catcher Paul Bako afterward and tucking the game ball in his back pocket as a keepsake.

"Pitched pretty good, didn't he? Very good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "In his first time out with us he gives us nine innings and that's real good."

Lee didn't allow a hit until Juan Uribe doubled to the deep corner in right with one out in the sixth. His defense also was spot on, with Lee hustling forward on Edgar Renteria's eighth-inning sacrifice bunt and quickly firing to first.

Lee doubled in the eighth for his first career extra-base hit. That gave him his first multihit game - and doubled his previous career hit total.

"I got the first hit and I was pretty pumped about that but you get a double off the wall in the opposite-field gap, I totally never expected that," Lee said.

Fittingly, it was Ben Francisco - who also came to the Phillies from the Indians on Wednesday - whose sacrifice fly helped Lee score his first career run.

Lee faced only two three-ball counts until the seventh on a cool night at the Giants' waterfront ballpark, where an eerie mist hovered over the field for much of the game. He had thrown only 13 balls among his first 54 pitches.

Lee, who went 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts for the Indians this season, won his fourth straight start dating to a loss at Detroit on July 10.

He struck out Randy Winn looking on a 93 mph fastball on his third pitch of the game and was through that inning on all of nine pitches.

"I felt comfortable. It's a loose clubhouse, everybody's nice. It was an easy transition for me," Lee said. "When I get on the field, I can just throw to the mitt and everything else is kind of irrelevant. I wasn't ever nervous or anything. I felt good about getting that first inning out of the way, getting that first guy out and putting up a zero."

Dodgers 5, Braves 0

At Atlanta, Jason Schmidt (2-1) gave up one hit in six innings, his longest start in more than two years, and combined with three relievers on a three-hitter. Andre Ethier hit a homer and drove in four runs for Los Angeles. His three-run homer off Tommy Hanson (5-2) in the fifth was his 21st of the season and gave the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

Chipper Jones' third-inning single was the only hit off Schmidt, who missed last season recovering from shoulder surgery. Cardinals 4, Astros 3

At St. Louis, Matt Holliday had four hits for the second time in his eight games with St. Louis. His RBI double off Alberto Arias (2-1) tied it in the eighth and he scored the go-ahead run on Rick Ankiel's single.

Trever Miller (3-0) got the last out of eighth and Ryan Franklin closed it for his 24th save as the Cardinals won for the fourth time in five games. Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2

At New York, Justin Upton scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Sean Freen (1-3) in the eighth inning. Mark Reynolds and Miguel Montero homered for the Diamondbacks, who have won four of their last six games.

Esmerling Vasquez (2-2) pitched a scoreless seventh, Jon Rauch worked the eighth and Chad Qualls finished for his 19th save.

David Wright and Murphy homered for New York, which has lost its last two after winning five straight. Marlins 5, Cubs 2

At Miami, John Baker drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the eighth and pinch-hitter Wes Helms followed with a two-run double, both off Carlos Marmol (2-2). Chris Volstad and three relievers combined on a seven-hitter against the Cubs, who had scored 12 runs in each of the past two games.

Brendan Donnelly (1-0) retired two batters in the eighth for his first NL victory. The Marlins have won eight of their last 10 games. Rockies 5, Reds 3

At Cincinnati, Chris Iannetta and Carlos Gonzalez led off the eighth inning with home runs on consecutive pitches from David Weathers (2-3). Franklin Morales (2-0) got one out in the seventh for the win and Huston Street pitched a perfect ninth for his 27th save.

Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips tied the game at 3 with back-to-back home runs - the 16th for each - in the sixth. Pirates 5, Nationals 4

At Pittsburgh, Steve Pearce hit his first homer of the season and Lastings Milledge had two RBI singles as the Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak.

Ross Ohlendorf (9-8) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings and Matt Capps earned his 21st save.

Ryan Zimmerman homered for the Nationals, who have lost three straight. Padres 11, Brewers 7

At San Diego, David Eckstein drove in three runs and the Padres came back from a six-run deficit to win their fourth straight. On the same day the Padres dealt ace right-hander Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox, their offense put up season highs with 11 runs and 17 hits.

San Diego starter Chad Gaudin allowed seven runs in the second, before Eckstein capped a four-run fourth with a two-run double against Milwaukee starter Braden Looper.

Prince Fielder had three hits for the Brewers, including a two-run single in the second when Milwaukee sent 13 batters to the plate while scoring a season-high seven runs.

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