Philly Sports Live

Lee Masterful as Phils Deny Sweep

Cliff Lee won’t have to wait until July to win his first game in 2013. The 34 year old southpaw stymied the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night to earn his first victory of the year.

Lee was in control from the get go. He loves to work fast, and this was the case on a cold, misty night at Turner Field. Conditions as such can often give the pitcher an edge due the sting hitters get when making contact. Lee did a great job of changing speeds and hitting his spots, living mostly on the corners all night.

The only offense came in the second inning, when Laynce Nix led off with a single, followed by an Erik Kratz double. Lee then stepped in, and after fouling some pitches off, managed a walk. The bases were loaded for the second consecutive inning, and Ben Revere grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Nix from third, and the score was 1-0.

Jimmy Rollins worked a walk to reload the bases for the hot hitting Chase Utley. He laced a hard line drive to centerfield for a sacrifice fly to score Kratz, making it 2-0. There would be no other scoring.

Atlanta starter Kris Medlen struggled with command tonight, and threw a lot of pitches in the early innings. He walked four Phillie hitters and allowed six hits. He lasted just five innings, throwing a total of 90 pitches. The Phils had the bases loaded twice against Medlen, but could only manage the two runs. They left 15 men on base.

Lee pitched eight shutout innings, struck out eight, and did not walk a batter.

Closer Jonathan Papelbon worked a one, two, three ninth inning to earn his first save of the season, and preserve the win for Lee.

The Phils avoided being swept in the season opening series with the Braves and bring a 1-2 record home to Citizens Bank Park for their home opener on Friday afternoon.

Kyle Kendrick gets the start for the Fightins’ who welcome the American League Kansas City Royals to town. With the Houston Astros moving to the A.L., interleague play now occurs daily with an odd amount of teams in each league.

First pitch tomorrow is slated for 4:05 p.m. with the gates open to fans at 1:30.

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