The Phillies scene: Cliff Lee shines; Lopez hit hard

The Phillies scene: Cliff Lee shines; Lopez hit hard

March 18, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Spring Training TV Schedule

Mar. 19, Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN
Mar. 22, Braves at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN
Mar. 26 Rays at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN
Mar. 28 Blue Jays at Phillies, 1 p.m., TCN
Mar. 29 Blue Jays at Phillies, 7 p.m., TCN

CLEARWATER, Fla. – OK, so it was a minor-league game. But, still, any time a pitcher goes six innings, doesn’t allow a run or a walk and strikes out nine, it’s pretty impressive.

That’s what Cliff Lee did to a group of upper-level Pittsburgh Pirates farmhands Monday afternoon at Carpenter Complex.

“I felt good,” Lee said. “I didn’t walk anyone. They didn’t score. I like both of those.”

Lee got to skip a 90-minute bus ride through Tampa traffic and out to Disney World, where the varsity Phillies played the Braves, because Phillies officials wanted to take a look at some other pitchers in the feature game.

Lee will get to see the Braves during the first week of the regular season in Atlanta. He will pitch one of the first three games, though he’s not yet sure which one. When the assignments come out, he will likely pitch the third game as the Phils try to split him and fellow lefty Cole Hamels in the rotation. Hamels will start the opener.

It didn’t hurt that Atlanta’s hitters weren’t able to get a look at Lee two weeks before facing him for real.

Jimmy Rollins played shortstop behind Lee. He was 0 for 1 with a walk and run scored.

Minor-league rightfielder Leandro Castro made a sensational running catch in foul territory in support of Lee. Castro hauled in the ball and ran into the fence.

“It was a great play, especially with the wind and fence right there,” Lee said. “That was good, no matter what level you're in.”

Against the Braves

The Phillies and Braves combined for 36 hits at Disney. The Braves won the slugfest, 17-10.

Domonic Brown belted his fifth home run, a two run shot off Kris Medlen, on his way to a three-hit game. Yunieksy Betancourt had four hits. Justin Upton homered twice for Atlanta. At the plate, Darin Ruf had two doubles. In the field, he had an adventure when he tracked down Freddie Freeman’s drive to the wall in left. The ball, however, ricocheted off of Ruf’s glove and over the wall for a homer.

The pitching was ugly as all five Phillies pitchers gave up runs. Starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed eight hits and seven earned runs in two innings. Aaron Cook allowed two earned runs in two innings.

In the field, the Phils made three errors. Catcher Humberto Quintero, centerfielder Ben Revere and first baseman Ryan Howard made the errors. Defense has been an issue all spring.

Up next

The Phillies host the Yankees on Tuesday afternoon in Clearwater. Righthanders Adam Warren and Kyle Kendrick will be the starting pitchers.

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