Philadelphia Phillies starter Cliff Lee is on a roll, and Monday night the Dodgers found out just how good he is right now.
Lee (3-2, 3.09 ERA) threw eight shutout innings, allowed four hits, and struck out ten without surrendering a walk, in the Phillies 7-0 win over LA at Dodger Stadium.
"He just dominated the strike zone," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said after the game. "He pitched well inside and out and as he went along mixed in breaking pitches, but he was in complete control out there."
In his last four starts, Lee has given up 33 hits in 30 innings, but he’s posted a 1.20 ERA in that span with 37 strikeouts and one walk.
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The only real threat the Dodgers made against him Monday night came in the bottom of the first inning. Yasiel Puig singled on the first pitch he saw, and advanced to second on a fly ball to deep center field. With two outs Adrian Gonzalez hit a chopper to second baseman Chase Utley. When Utley knew he couldn’t get the out at first, he threw behind Puig who raced around third toward home, and was eventually tagged out in a rundown.
Gonzalez was credited with a single, which extended his hitting streak to 16 games. The first baseman is hitting .343 during the streak but finished his night just 1 for 4.
The Dodgers would get one runner to second base the rest of the game, and, at times, were visibly angry by strike calls from home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
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It was a rough outing for Dodgers starter Paul Maholm (0-2, 5.60 ERA). He walked the first batter of the game, then gave up a single to Jimmy Rollins. But, after getting Chase Utley out, Carlos Ruiz hit a double down the right field line to put Philly up, 2-0. It didn’t help that Puig overthrew both cut-off men, allowing the second runner to score.
Maholm seemed to come unglued in the fifth. he got two quick outs, but then walked Ruiz. Ryan Howard then came up and sent a slider into the right-center field seats for his fifth homer of the season, padding the lead to 4-0. Two singles later, Maholm should've been out of the inning on a slow roller back to him, but he turned and sailed the throw over Adrian Gonzalez's head at first base, which allowed another run to score. He got out of the inning before any more damage was done trailing 5-0.
Maholm hit the shower after that, but his manager Don Mattingly said he battled.
"I thought he hung in there for us to give us a chance, but we just didn’t do enough to win the game tonight," Mattingly said.
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The Phillies added two more runs in the ninth when Ruiz welcomed reliever Jose Dominguez back to the big leagues with a two-run homer of his own to make it 7-0. Dominguez was called up before Monday’s game to replace utility player Chone Figgins, who was sent down to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Mattingly said before the game that it was done boost the number of arms in the bullpen, and for Figgins to get some much needed playing time.
The Dodgers are 2-2 on their current ten-game homestand. Tuesday Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 1.93 ERA) will take that mound for the Dodgers against Phillies started A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.74). First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.