Cliff Lee pitched seven strong innings, and the Phillies managed to plate a pair of runs in the eigth to defeat the Minnesota Twins 3-2.
After two particularly deflating losses to the less-than-intimidating Twins, Lee (8-2), winner of five of his last seven starts, was tasked with ending the Phillies' skid. They entered the game having lost five straight games immediately after winning a season-high five straight , including a sweep of the lowly Miami Marlins. He struck out six, and allowed just three hits and a walk in his seven innings of work.
Ben Revere led the charge early with a leadoff single, and stole second following Michael Y0ung's flyout. After Jimmy Rollins reached on an error by Minnesota starter Kevin Correia, Ryan Howard collected his 32nd RBI when he scored Revere on a single to right field, putting the Phillies up 1-0.
Revere, who has drawn the ire of many a Phillies fan for his lack of prowess at the plate, went 4-5 with three singles, a triple, and a stolen base to lead something of an offensive explosion tonight. They scored only three runs, but they did get 16 hits. They do try, folks.
After that, the game was mostly quiet. Correia managed to work his way around allowing nine total baserunners to keep the Phillies off the board after the first, while Lee simply mowed the Twins down. He was perfect through three, and allowed just one hit through the first six innings, getting plenty of goundball outs to go with his strikeouts.
Lee ran into trouble, though, from the top of the Twins' lineup in the 7th. Joe Mauer worked a one-out walk, and Ryan Doumit reached on an infield single to third. After Josh Willingham flied out, Justin Morneau hit a double to left-center, scoring Doumit and Mauer to give the Twins a 2-1 lead entering the eigth inning.
The Phillies, though, seemed determined not to just roll over for Minnesota tonight. Facing reliever Jared Burton in the eigth, pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen led off the inning with a double. Revere reached on a close play, legging out an infield single to the catcher (check the box score, its there) and moving Frandsen over to third. Young followed it up with an RBI single to score Frandsen, and Rollins grounded into a fielder's choice to plate Revere, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead.
Mike Adams, who took the loss yesterday after surrendering the winning run in the eigth, came in for the bottom of the inning and at least made up for it at least a little. He retired the Twins 7-8-9 hitters in order, keeping the lead at one.
Laynce Nix singled to begin the top of the ninth, and John Mayberry Jr. came in to pinch run. The bullpen pair of Josh Roenicke and Caleb Thielbar managed to sit the remaining Philadelphia batters down to end the inning.
Jonathan Papelbon then came in to close the game against Minnesota's top of the order. Chris Herrmann came in to bat for leadoff man Jamey Carroll, but he, as well as Mauer, struck out. Chris Parmelee, batting for Doumit, grounded weakly to first to end the game. And, no doubt, a collective sigh was heaved by many a Philadelphian. The save was Papelbon's 12th in 12 tries.
The Phillies (32-35) travel to Colorado to face the Rockies in the first of a three game set over the weekend. They will send Kyle Kendrick to the mound, while the Rockies will counter with Juan Nicasio.
The Twins (29-34) host the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers tomorrow, the first of a three game set. Rick Porcello pitches for Detroit against Minnesota's Scott Diamond.