It was Cliff Lee’s turn.
Only days after Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton were blown up in early exits, Lee got bounced in the fourth as the Atlanta Braves took the first of many meetings between the two teams, 6-3.
The wheels for Lee quickly fell off. Atlanta scored three runs in the second inning when Jason Heyward led off with a triple before being driven in my Carlos Gonzalez’s RBI double. Martin Prado then drove in Gonzalez and rookie Freddie Freeman to tie the game up at three apiece.
It got worse for the lefty two innings later when he could only manage to record one out before being yanked. Lee hit Freeman and allowed two more singles to load the bases before Chipper Jones hit a bases-clearing double to make it 6-3. Brian McCann followed up with a single and Lee was yanked.
Lee’s final line was 3 1/3 innings pitched, six runs on 10 hits with a walk and three strike outs.
But the bull pen stopped the bleeding once again to keep the Phils in the game. Kyle Kendrick pitched 1 2/3 while allowing only a hit and walk. Antonio Bastardo was absolutely filthy, allowing one hit and striking out six straight batters. J.C. Romero pitched a scoreless eighth.
Atlanta’s Jones had two hits in the game. His second hit was the 2,500th in his career. If Jones can play and be effective in two more seasons after this, he may join the very exclusive 3,000 hit club.
Jones was one of four Braves to have multi-hit games. Prado (3-for-5, Nate McLouth (2-for-5) and McCann (2-4) all contributed in big ways and Jones had three RBIs.
Ben Francisco continued his hot start, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz also had two-hit games.
The Phils play tomorrow at 1:oo PM on FOX. Roy Oswalt will face Brandon Beachy.
2B: Francisco (2).
WP: Hudson (1-1). LP: Lee (2-0). S: Kimbrel (3).