Lee stays winless; Phils back in the basement
(Photo: Howard Smith/US Presswire)
(Photo: Howard Smith/US Presswire)
By AP

Posted Jun 24, 2012


On Saturday, the Phillies pulled themselves out of the National League East basement. On Sunday, they were right back below ground as the Tampa Bay Rays swept the Phillies in both ends of a double-header.

Brooks Conrad hit a pair of two-run doubles off winless Cliff Lee and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 Sunday night to complete a day-night doubleheader sweep.

Lee (0-4) allowed five runs and six hits in seven innings. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner hasn't won a game since last September 26; 273 days ago.

In the opener, Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Rays held on for a 3-2 victory, making David Price the first American League pitcher to reach ten wins.

Cole Hamels pitched three-hit ball for seven shutout innings in his first appearance against the Rays since he was the MVP of the 2008 World Series. But the lefty departed after throwing 111 pitches and Pena connected off Antonio Bastardo (2-2).

Because of Friday's rainout, the Rays went with a "bullpen" game in the nightcap. Cesar Ramos tossed 2 2/3 hitless innings in his third career start and first since 2009. Wade Davis allowed three runs and three hits in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Ramos, but it was Brandon Gomes (2-2) who earned the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

The five-time defending National League East champion Phillies are 6-15 in June and fell back into last place, a game behind Miami. The depleted Phillies should be getting some help soon. Chase Utley is scheduled to play for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, and the five-time All-Star second baseman could make his season debut this week. Utley has been sidelined because he has chronic knee problems. Former NL MVP Ryan Howard is still rehabbing in extended spring training after having surgery to repair a torn Achilles' tendon suffered last postseason. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay hasn't pitched since May 27 because of a lat injury.

As for Lee, he simply hasn't received much run support this season. He couldn't even get a win when he threw 10 scoreless innings at San Francisco on April 18. But he's also blown three three-run leads. In his last seven starts, Lee has a 5.10 ERA.

Placido Polanco hit an RBI double and John Mayberry Jr. followed with a run-scoring single to get the Phillies within 3-2 in the fourth of the nightcap. Lee retired the first two batters in the sixth before Ben Zobrist singled and Sean Rodriguez walked. Conrad then hit a double off the top of the fence in right-center to give the Rays a 5-2 lead. Rodriguez knocked over catcher Brian Schneider on a play at home, causing Schneider to leave the game with a right ankle sprain.

Polanco's RBI double in the sixth cut it to 5-3. But the Phillies couldn't score him from third with no outs.

The Rays got two insurance runs in the eighth when B.J. Rosenberg walked four batters. Jake Diekman came in and also walked in a run.

Price (10-4) went seven innings in the opener and gave up four hits, including Jimmy Rollins' homer in the sixth. "I try to treat every start the same but whenever you're facing somebody who is one of their top guys, it definitely heightens your sense of awareness," Price said. "You know you can't go six and give up three."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel became testy with the media when questioned about lifting Hamels for Bastardo, as well as explaining his late-game pinch-hitting decisions. "That's our eighth-inning guy," Manuel said of Bastardo.

"I think right now, what you see is the pitchers that we have. That's the ones that we have in our minor leagues and up here. That's what it is. You guys ought to sit in the dugout with me and give me all the scenarios," Manuel added. "I don't think we know them. I mean, we don't know how to manage the game. Like really, I think you should sit down there with us or tweet us (strategy) or something."

NOTES: Lee is the only pitcher in the majors this season with at least ten starts and no wins... Jim Thome, pinch-hitting for the Phillies in the eighth in game one, was intentionally walked to tie Mickey Mantle for seventh place on the career list with 1,733 walks... Hamels fanned seven to tie Hall of Famer Jim Bunning for sixth place on the Phillies' career strikeout list with 1,197... Philadelphia hosts the Pirates on Monday night for the first of four when RHP Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04) faces LHP Erik Bedard (4-7, 4.13).




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