Lee tosses 3rd straight shutout

BASEBALL

Shanghai Daily - - SPORTS -

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

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