Cliff Lee allows a lead to get away, as the Phils lose to the Braves, 6-3.

Cliff Lee blew a three-run lead, before losing the game, as the Phils dropped their road opener to the Braves, 6-3.

The Phils took a 1-0 lead in the first as, with two men on, and with one man out, Ryan Howard hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Shane Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on Placido Polanco’s single, then went to third when Jimmy Rollins hits into a 3-6 force out, wiping out Polanco at second base, after Rollins had stolen second base. The Phils then took a 2-0 lead as, with one man on, and now with two men out, Ben Francisco hits an RBI single, scoring Rollins. The Phils then made it a 3-0 lead as, with two men on, and with one man out, Victorino hits into an RBI forced out, 4-6, knocking in Carlos Ruiz, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base on Wilson Valdez’s ground out, 6-3, then went to third on shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s fielding error of Cliff Lee’s grounder, while Lee, who had earlier been safe on first on Gonzalez’s error, was wiped out at second base, while Victorino was safe on first base. The Braves then came back in their half of the second, as they cut the Phils’ lead down to 3-1 as, with a runner on third, and with no one out, Gonzalez hits an RBI double, scoring Jason Heyward, who had earler tripled. Three batters later, with runners on the corners, and with one man out, Martin Prado hits a ground-rule double, scoring Gonzalez, who had moved up to third on Freddie Freeman’s single, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, while Freeman, who had earlier singled, stopped at third base. The Braves then tied the game up at three-all as Nate McLouth hits into an RBI ground out, 4-3, scoring Freeman, while sending Prado to third base. The Braves then took the lead in the fourth as, with the bases loaded, via Freeman being hit by a pitch, a single by Prado, moving Freeman up to second base, and a single by McLouth, with both runners moving up a base, and with one man out, Chipper Jones hits a three-run double, that Victorino had missplayed, giving the Braves a 6-3 lead. The Braves then turned the Phils away in the fifth as, with the bases loaded via a single by Kyle Kendrick, a single by Victorino, sending Kendrick to second base, who then moved to third as Polanco hits into a force out, 4-unassisted, as Dan Uggla tagged Victorino in the base path, allowing Polanco to be safe at first, who, in turned would move up to second as Tim Hudson committed a fielding error as he tried to field Rollins’ grounder, and with one man out, Howard check swinged into a 1-2-3 doubleplay, as Kendrick is out at the plate. That would be the final score as the Phils are unable to mount up much of an offense after that miss opportunity.

Cliff Lee (1-1, 7.84) took the lost as he lasted only three and a third innings, giving up six runs on ten hits, one walk, and one hit batter, while he struck out only three. Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo and J.C. Romero then followed, together pitching four and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Kendrick (1), Bastardo (1)) and two walks (Kendrick (1), Romero (1)), while striking out eighth batters between them (Bastardo (6), Romero (1)). Tim Hudson (2-0, 1.84) got the win, as he pitched seven and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits, while he struck out two. Jonny Venters received his third hold of the year as he pitched a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face. Craig Kimbrel recorded his third save of the season as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out a batter. The Phils’ bullpen once again did an excellent job after a starter was knocked out early.

The Phils offense had only eight hits, with Shane Victorino (Singles, RBI), Ben Francisco (Single, Double, RBI) and Carlos Ruiz (Singles) each leading the team with two hits. Placido Polanco and Kyle Kendrick had the other two Phils’ hits, both singles, while Ryan Howard knocked in the other Phil run, via a sac fly. The Phils took an early lead, but they missed an opportunity to get back in the ballgame in a bases loaded, one out, situation in the fifth, as Howard hits into a double play.

The Phils (5-2, 1st) continue their three-games road trip with the Braves (4-4, 3rd) at Turner Field. The game will start at 1:10 pm EDT, and it will be nationally televised on Fox-TV. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (1-0, 3.00), who is coming off a win against the Astros on April 3, as he went six innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk, while he struck out six, in the Phils’ 7-3 win. He will be trying to even up the series. The Braves will counter with Brandon Beachy (0-0, 1.50), as he is coming off a no-decision against the Brewers on April 4, as he went six innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while he struck out seven, in the Braves’ 2-1 win. He will be trying to handle the Phils’ offense. The Phils will be trying to recover from last night’s lost to even up the series.


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