(Sports Network) - Cliff Lee got the Philadelphia Phillies' crucial homestand
off to a winning start last week, creating momentum that has seen the club rip
off four victories already on the residency.
Lee goes back at it on Wednesday night aiming for a ninth straight victory in
the third contest of a four-game series with the Washington Nationals.
Lee is unbeaten in 12 straight outings, having not lost since May 1 in
Cleveland. The All-Star lefty kicked off his club's stay at home last Friday
with a 5-4 win over Atlanta, hurling six scoreless frames before getting
charged with four runs in the seventh inning while recording just one out.
Lee yielded eight hits and struck out four without a walk, moving to 10-2 with
a 2.73 earned run average in 18 starts this season.
"You're playing the Braves, the Nationals, the teams that are ahead of you and
they're that much more important because you can gain ground there," Lee said
on Philadelphia's website. "We just have to win games, and what the front
office does and the decisions they have to make are up to them. It's their job
to do that and it's our job to win games."
Lee's current unbeaten run includes a home win over the Nationals on June 18
as he struck out nine over eight innings of two-run ball. That improved the
34-year-old to 6-3 lifetime versus the Washington franchise with a 2.48 ERA in
Philadelphia has won each of its past three games, including the first two of
this set with Washington. The Phils got an excellent start from Cole Hamels
Tuesday in a 4-2 victory, with the southpaw yielding just a run over eight
innings of work.
Hamels posted wins in back-to-back starts for the first time in 2013,
scattering six hits and one walk to go with four strikeouts.
"I know it was hot, but I was able to maintain the energy and intensity
level," Hamels said.
Michael Young hit a two-run double, Domonic Brown had an RBI and Chase Utley
scored twice for the Phils, who are 4-1 on their homestand and have won six of
their last eight overall.
Jayson Werth homered for the Nationals, who have been limited to four runs in
this series after erupting for 32 during their four-game win streak prior to
arriving in Philadelphia. They now sit six games behind first-place Atlanta in
the NL East and just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies.
"This is a good-hitting ballpark. We didn't get anything going," Nationals
manager Davey Johnson said.
Taylor Jordan was tagged for eight hits and four runs -- three earned -- over
5 2/3 frames and took the loss.
Johnson's club will look to rebound Wednesday behind southpaw Gio Gonzalez,
who can push his winning streak to four straight starts. His current run
follows an 0-1 winless stretch from May 12-June 19, a span of eight outings.
Gonzalez scattered three runs, eight hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings of an
8-5 triumph over San Diego on Friday, striking out five and moving to 6-3 on
the season with a 3.14 ERA in 18 outings.
Gonzalez, 27, did not factor into a 6-2 win at Philadelphia on June 19 despite
striking out 11 over seven innings of two-run ball. He is 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA
in five career meetings with the Phillies.
The Phillies own a 5-3 advantage in the season series, taking four of five so
far at home.
The Sports Network