FORT MYERS, Fla. – Cliff Lee had his longest, and best outing of the spring as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the host Boston Red Sox 4-1 Saturday night at JetBlue Park.
Lee (1-1), making his fourth start of the spring, threw 75 pitches (54 for strikes) over five scoreless innings. The gave up three hits while walking one and striking out three.
The left-hander had gone 3 2/3 innings in his previous start. It was the first time this spring he did not allow a run, and he wasn’t exactly facing a bunch of prospects.
Boston’s lineup included Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, got two hits and two RBIs from Marlon Byrd. Ben Revere had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run.
Jimmy Rollins, who came in batting just .105 (2-for-19) went 0-for-3 with a walk, but did drive in a run with a ground out.
Domonic Brown continued to struggle as well. He struck out in all three at-bats and has now struck out 12 times this spring.
The Phillies got on the board against Boston starter John Lester (1-1) in the top of the first as Revere singled, stole second and came home on Byrd’s RBI double.
That was the only damage either starter allowed.
Lester was replaced by Burke Badenhop in the fifth inning and the Phillies struck for three runs.
After Cesar Hernandez singled with one out, the Phillies executed the hit-and-run play to perfection as Will Nieves delivered just his second hit of the spring to put runners at first and third. Revere then hit a ground-rule double to score Hernandez, Rollins followed with an RBI ground out and Byrd added an RBI single to make it 4-0.
Lee was followed by Phillippe Aumont, who retired Victorino, Pedroia and Ortiz in order in his first inning. For the first time this spring, Aumont came out to throw a second inning and was tagged for a long solo home run by Boston’s Jonny Gomes.
The right-hander would recover to get out of the inning and the Phillies got a scoreless eighth from Brad Lincoln. Shawn Camp then closed it out in the ninth to earn the save.
The Phillies have now won three of their last four spring training games.
Philadelphia will host the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. Sean O’Sullivan is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies against Pittsburgh’s Adam Wilk.