Red Sox 5, Phillies 1
WP – Josh Beckett (4-4, 4.38)
LP – Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.66)
PHILADELPHIA — From the very first batter the Red Sox owned Cliff Lee and the offense, both at the plate and on the mound respectively.
A pair of big home runs and a dominant pitching performance from Josh Beckett dropped the Phillies, 5-1. The loss dropped the Phillies back to .500 and with Atlanta’s win, dropped them to five games out of first place.
Mike Aviles had an encore performance in store for Lee. Aviles, who hit a home run off Joe Blanton to lead off yesterday’s game, hit a lead-0ff home run again, giving the Sox a quick 1-0 lead.
In the 3rd inning while Boston held a 2-0 lead, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a three-run homer off Lee, opening the game wide open and giving the Red Sox a 5-0 lead. Lee managed to pitch four more scoreless innings after that homer but the damage was done.
It was all the offense the controversial Beckett would need. Beckett pitched beautifully through 7 2/3 innings. He allowed a run on seven hits and two walks while striking out five.
The Phillies did finally get a run off Beckett in the 8th thanks to Juan Pierre’s sacrifice fly. But it would set up more disappointment from the offense.
Once again the Phillies had an opportunity to do some damage late in the game but failed during the 8th. After Beckett walked Shane Victorino, he was taken out in favor of Vicente Padilla, who walked the bases loaded.
But instead of going with a pinch-hitter, preferably a red-hot Carlos Ruiz or Placido Polanco, Charlie Manuel let a struggling Ty Wigginton hit. Wigginton grounded out weakly to second to end the Phillies only real scoring threat.
The Phillies are now 21-21 and five games out of first. Their next 20 games will be against teams with a winning record, starting with Washington tomorrow.
2B: Lee (1), Orr (4).