PHILADELPHIA (AP) - One bad pitch ruined Cliff Lee's chance at his first win.
Elian Herrera hit a two-run double off Lee in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Lee (0-3) took a two-hitter into the eighth and was a strike away from getting out of trouble before Herrera hit a 2-2 pitch off the left-field wall to put the Dodgers ahead.
``He had a good at-bat, fouled off a lot of pitches,' Lee said. ``The last pitch was horrible, a hanging curve ball and he hit it.'
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel didn't consider removing Lee despite his pitch count.
``He had a beautiful game going,' Manuel said. ``His stuff was still good. He threw 94 mph to Herrera. He just hung a breaking ball.'
Chad Billingsley (3-4) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings. Josh Lindblom worked the eighth and Kenley Jansen finished for his eighth save in 11 tries.
Herrera waited nine years to reach the majors. He's not going back to the minors anytime soon.
Herrera hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Jonathan Papelbon in a 4-3 win Monday night. He's batting .304 in 20 games and has started at third base, second base and center field.
``I love it. I love it,' Herrera said. ``I knew I could hit the ball.'
Lee gave up two runs and six hits in 7 2-3 innings, striking out a season-high 12.
Lee's record is no indication of the way he's pitched. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner has a 2.92 ERA, but has been the victim of poor run support. The Phillies have scored just 16 total runs in his nine starts. Lee couldn't even get a win when he threw 10 scoreless innings at San Francisco on April 18.
``Nothing I can do about it,' Lee said. ``All I can do is try to give the team a chance. I did that tonight and we came up short.'
Major league-leading Los Angeles has won three of four after losing five in a row.
The five-time defending NL East champion Phillies have lost four straight to fall a game under .500.
Hunter Pence drove in Philadelphia's only run with an RBI single in the first inning. He also made an outstanding defensive play in the eighth. Pence made an excellent, no-hop throw to third base to nail Tony Gwynn Jr. trying to advance from first on pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu's single.
Lee helped himself earlier in the inning with a defensive gem of his own after Matt Treanor led off with a double. Gwynn followed with a bunt, but Lee quickly got off the mound, fielded the ball and threw Treanor out at third.
However, with two outs and two on, Herrera ripped Lee's 122nd pitch of the night over left fielder Juan Pierre's head to drive in both runners.
``I was looking for something I could hit,' he said. ``The first three at_bats, he was changing speeds. I thought whatever he throws close, I'll try to put it in play.'
Jimmy Rollins lined a double down the right-field line leading off the first. He scored on Pence's one-out single to left. Right fielder Andre Ethier prevented further trouble for the Dodgers by making a twisting, leaping catch in front of the right-field fence on Ty Wigginton's high drive.
Billingsley shut the Phillies down the rest of the way.
``Cliff was out there painting pitches,' he said. ``I knew I had to throw zeroes to keep up with him.'
Notes: Phillies 3B Placido Polanco was removed for a pinch-hitter after cutting his finger tagging out Gwynn in the eighth. ... Philadelphia's right-handed relievers, excluding Papelbon, entered the game with a 6.06 ERA. ... Lee has 20 career double-digit strikeout games. ... A crowd of 43,989 was the 249th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason. ... Kyle Kendrick (2-4, 4.02) pitches for the Phillies against Chris Capuano (7-2, 2.50) on Wednesday. Kendrick is 4-3 with an 8.01 ERA in seven games vs. Los Angeles. Capuano is 0-2 with a 2.87 ERA in six games vs. Philadelphia.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved