MILWAUKEE (AP) - With a four-run lead and ace Cliff Lee on the mound, Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel liked his chances Friday night.
The Milwaukee Brewers made their own luck, battling back against Lee and rallying for a 5-4 win Friday night on a game-winning single by Aramis Ramirez with one out in ninth inning.
``I felt like when we scored the four runs on them, I thought (Lee) could hold that,' Manuel said. ``He usually does.'
But Lee wasn't himself Friday. He allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings for the Phillies, who fell back to .500 and ended a five-game winning streak.
Lee said he felt good on the mound despite giving up at least one hit in six of the seven innings he pitched.
``They've got a good offense, there's no way around it,' he said. ``We had a four-nothing lead. I'm still not very happy about giving that up. But like I say, they've got a good offense and they kept grinding and pulled it out.'
The key inning for Lee was the seventh, when he gave up a leadoff walk to Noichika Aoki. Jean Segura then tripled into the right field corner to score Aoki. Segura scored when Freddy Galvis' relay got away from catcher Erik Kratz, tying it at 4-4.
``What hurt us was when we walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh' Manuel said. ``Then of course the guy (Segura) tripled down in the corner and we threw the ball away. That was sloppy.'
Philadelphia grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning when John Mayberry doubled to left field and scored on a single by Jimmy Rollins.
The Phillies added three more runs in the fourth inning. Hot hitting Dominic Brown doubled to the right field corner and scored on a single by Delmon Young. Kratz then lined his eighth home run of the season to make it 4-0.
Milwaukee finally got to Lee in the fourth inning, scoring two runs. Yuniesky Betancout's RBI double went off Brown's glove to score the first run and Figaro knocked in the second run with a groundout.
Segura started the winning rally in the ninth by beating out a grounder to short for an infield single off Jeremy Horst (0-2). Ryan Braun singled and Segura advanced to third base. Ramirez then lined the second pitch he saw to left field to drive in the winning run.
Reliever Francisco Rodriguez (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Milwaukee,
Ramirez is hoping the dramatic win will be a springboard for the Brewers.
``We know we are better than we have played so far this season,' said Ramirez, who missed 23 games this season with a knee sprain. ``I'm hoping this can be a springboard to get us to start playing better.'
The win was just Milwaukee's fourth in its last 11 games and the team is still 14 games below .500.
Ramirez said the win was more impressive because Milwaukee battled back against Lee.
``Anytime you can come back and get a win against one of the best pitchers in baseball, it is a good thing,' he said.
NOTES: Aoki has struck out just 12 times in 263 plate appearances this season, the best ratio in the major leagues. He has gone 59 plate appearances without striking out, the longest streak by a Brewers player since Brady Clark went 60 in 2005. ... Phillies 2B Chase Utley said Friday he believes he can rejoin the team by the middle of June. Utley has been on the disabled list since May 21 with a strained right oblique. ... Brewers reliever Tom Gorzelanny (1-0) will make his first start of the season Saturday against the Phillies' Kyle Kendrick (6-3).
The Associated Press News Service
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