CLIFF LEE struggled in what's expected to be his final rehab start before rejoining the Phillies, allowing eight runs, three earned, in 4 2/3 innings last night for Class A Clearwater.
Lee, slated to start for the Phillies (42-53) in Monday's series opener against the San Francisco Giants, gave up eight hits, four for extra bases, against the St. Louis affiliated Palm Beach Cardinals. The Cy Young Award-winning lefthander is working his way back from the left elbow strain that landed him on the disabled list on May 20.
The third outing of Lee's rehab assignment was also his longest. Philadelphia's Opening Day starter threw 76 pitches, 51 for strikes, struck out two but walked one and hit another. He induced seven groundouts to four flyouts.
Five of the runs against Lee came in the first inning, though each was unearned because of a fielding error by shortstop J.P. Crawford, who rejoined Clearwater yesterday after his appearance in Sunday's All-Star Futures Game in Minnesota. By inning's end, Palm Beach had tagged Lee with two singles, a double and a home run in a 24-pitch frame.