Pence and Giants spoil Lee’s return


Jul 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee (33) pitches during the second inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The stage was set for a big night for Cliff Lee, but in reality he’s had bigger and much better outings.

The southpaw came off the disabled list Monday to start his first game in two months and it ended up being his fifth loss of the season in a 7-4 game.  He went 5.2 innings and gave up six earned runs on 12 hits while striking out three.  His velocity seemed normal, but his command did not.  It took him until his 65th pitch to record a first-pitch strike.

Lee retired the first three batters of the game, but the Giants quickly got to him in the top of the 2nd inning with back-to-back singles from Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse.  He then fanned two, but Gregor Blanco singled to make it a 1-0 game as Sandoval came around to score.  Morse was a bit ambitious and got thrown out at home to end the inning.

Jimmy Rollins got the Phillies on the board with a 2-RBI base hit in the 2nd inning to give his team a 2-1 lead.  The lead was short lived as Buster Posey knocked in two runs in the top of the 3rd to make it 3-2.

Ryan Howard came through in a no-out bases-loaded situation in the 4th inning.  He drove in the final two Phillies runs with a single.  Of the 14 hits the Phillies had, none of them were for extra bases.

The Giants on the other hand hit for extra bases starting in the sixth inning with a two-run home run from rookie Adam Duvall, his second round tripper in just six major league games.  Joaquin Arias then doubled after Lee recorded his final two outs of the game.  The last batter Lee faced was Hunter Pence who singled in Arias.

Pence was not finished against his former club.  In the eighth he tripled in Blanco for his second RBI with three hits.

The Giants bullpen scattered three hits in six innings of work.  Starter Ryan Vogelsong gave up 11 base hits, the number of runners left on base by the Phillies.