For the first time since the beginning of May, the Philadelphia Phillies are taking the field after a Cliff Lee loss.
Lee draws the start for the Phillies Thursday against the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game series at Target Field. The Phillies couldn't hold a 4-0 lead in Lee's last start, a 5-4 loss at Milwaukee on Friday, and the left-hander deserved some of the blame.
The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner gave up four runs, three of which were earned, and eight hits in seven innings for a no-decision against the Brewers and remained unbeaten in his last seven starts (5-0, 1.84 ERA). The Phillies are 6-1 in that stretch for Lee, who matched a season high with three walks and has surrendered six runs in his previous two starts.
"Yeah, I'm not very happy about that to be honest with you," Lee said of the walks. "Especially there in the seventh, the leadoff walk obviously ended up scoring and I've got to do a better job of making him earn his way on base."
Lee is 7-2 with a 2.55 earned run average in 13 starts and 5-1 in eight road assignments. The former Cleveland Indian has faced the Twins 19 times -- all starts -- in his career, going 8-4 with a 3.64 ERA.
The Phillies hope Lee can play stopper as the club tries to avoid a three-game sweep against the Twins after dropping Wednesday's contest, 4-3. The bullpen blew a nice effort from starter Tyler Cloyd, who tossed five innings of one- run ball in the no-decision. Antonio Bastardo was dealt the loss for allowing two runs in the eighth inning.
Justin De Fratus uncorked a wild pitch to allow the go-ahead run to score.
Former Twin Ben Revere had three hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Jimmy Rollins went 2-for-4 with a run scored for the Phillies, who have dropped five in a row since winning five straight.
"I think that we keep going and keep trying to grind it out and then we'll see what kind of players we've got as far as mental toughness and hard-nosed and things like that," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of his team's struggles.
After Thursday's game the Phillies will head to Colorado for three matchups with the Rockies. They are 1-5 on a 10-game road trip.
Minnesota improved to 2-0 on its nine-game homestand thanks to Philadelphia's bumbling bullpen. Clete Thomas put the Twins on top for good when he scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning and also doubled in a run earlier in the frame. He finished 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
"I was going right away," Thomas said of scoring on a wild pitch. "I saw it squirt away and I was going and just hoping it didn't kick hard off that wall. It stayed back there."
Oswaldo Arcia had three hits and three runs scored for Minnesota, which has won six of its last 10 games. Mike Pelfrey allowed three runs in seven innings for the no-decision and Brian Duensing got the final two outs of the eighth for the win. Glen Perkins earned his 15th save in the ninth.
The Twins will also host Detroit and the Chicago White Sox on the homestand.
Minnesota has won each of Kevin Correia's last three starts and the right- hander gets the nod in Thursday's finale. Correia, though, has posted consecutive no-decisions and is just 1-2 in his last three decisions.
Correia struck out seven and did not walk a batter in Saturday's 4-3 win at Washington, as he allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander is 5-4 in 12 starts with a 4.11 ERA and has made 11 career appearances (4 starts) against the Phillies. He hasn't enjoyed much success in that stretch with a 1-3 mark and an 8.64 ERA.
Minnesota lost two of three meetings with Philadelphia last season.