Lee tosses 3rd straight shutout
A MASTERFUL Cliff Lee tossed his third consecutive complete- game shutout to steal top billing as the Philadelphia Phillies earned a 5- 0 victory in their heavyweight match-up with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
In a potential World Series preview between two of the top teams, Lee was once again unstoppable and overshadowed Boston ace Josh Beckett with a two-hit performance that extended his streak of scoreless innings to 32.
The red-hot Lee struck out five and improved his record to 9-5 on the season, though the former Cy Young winner was not ready to celebrate prematurely.
“It’s not time to pat myself on the back for anything right now. It’s the middle of the season, we’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot of games to play,” Lee told reporters.
“I’m going to continue to focus on my routine and what I need to do for each start. I know that’s why I’ve been successful.”
Domonic Brown gave Philadelphia an early 2- 0 lead with a home run in the second, and Shane Victorino also belted a two-run homer in the sixth to help seal the win for the Major Leagueleading Phillies (50-30).
Beckett ( 6-3) entered the night with the best ERA in the Major Leagues at 1.86, but his mark ballooned to 2.20 after allowing five runs in six innings. He had not pitched since June 15 because of a flu virus.
The Boston (45-33) offense, playing without injured Carl Crawford ( hamstring) and benched designated- hitter David Ortiz, did not record a hit against Lee until the sixth.
“When he gets the ball I expect him to pitch like he can,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “You’ll see pitchers get into hot streaks and they can go a long time and pitch really good.”
Prior to the game, the Phillies announced they had placed closer Ryan Madson on the 15- day disabled list with a bruised right hand retroactive to June 19.
In Detroit, Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran hit grand slams in consecutive innings — after the Mets had gone nearly two years without one — as New York moved back above .500 with a 14-3 win.
The Mets (40-39) have a winning record for the first time since they were 3-2 in early April.
New York had been without a grand slam since Angel Pagan hit one on August 1, 2009, before Bay and Beltran cleared the bases in the fourth and fifth innings off Daniel Schlereth. Jose Reyes went 4 for 4 with a double and a triple for the Mets.
Also, it was: Yankees 12, Brewers 2; Rays 4, Reds 3; Cardinals 6, Orioles 2; Twins 6, Dodgers 4; Pirates 7, Blue Jays 6; Rangers 7, Astros 3; Rockies 3, White Sox 2, 13 innings; Diamondbacks 6, Indians 4; Padres 4, Royals 2; Angels 11, Nationals 5; Braves 5, Mariners 4; and Athletics 1, Marlins 0.
In the National League, it was: Giants 13, Cubs 7, 1st game; and Giants 6, Cubs 3, 2nd game.
Philadelphia Phillies’ Cliff Lee follows through after hitting an RBI- sacrifice fly off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett in the fifth inning of their interleague baseball game in Philadelphia on Tuesday. — AP