Cliff Lee definitely looks ready for the regular season. Lee pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-4 exhibition victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.
Scott Podsednik ended the game with a two-out solo homer in the ninth inning. He went 2-for-2. Podsednik and Juan Pierre are competing for a roster spot. Podsednik is hitting .362 this spring while Pierre is batting .289. "We'll make the decision," Manuel said. "Podsednik hits the ball a little bit harder. He gives you more juice. Pierre is on base more. He has a high on-base percentage. Both of them hit lefties OK."
Lee allowed three hits, struck out three and walked one. The left-hander also hit for the first time this spring and doubled in his final at-bat. The 33-year-old Lee will make one more spring start on Sunday before taking the ball in the second game of the regular season on April 7 in Pittsburgh.
"I'm pretty happy with where everything is right now," Lee said. "One more start and then the regular season, so it's time to get after it."
Philadelphia scored two runs in the first. Shane Victorino doubled and scored on Placido Polanco's base hit. Jim Thome, starting at first base for the second time in three days, doubled in Polanco.
NOTES: The Phillies re-assigned RHPs Scott Elarton and Brian Sanches to minor league camp. Additionally, they optioned LHP Jake Diekman to minor league camp. The 25-year-old Diekman didn't allow an earned run in five spring appearances, striking out nine while walking one in five innings... Philadelphia reliever Justin De Fratus threw a bullpen session for the first time this spring. De Fratus complained of elbow soreness when camp began last month. He'll throw again on Friday.