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Houston at Philadelphia

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Houston (74-85) «2000021005100
Philadelphia (92-67)0000100023131

Phillies' Lee loses to Astros in postseason tuneup

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- A day after wrapping up their third consecutive National League East title, the Phillies turned their focus toward earning home-field advantage.

They failed to gain ground on the Dodgers Thursday night.

Cliff Lee was shaky in his playoff tuneup and the Philadelphia Phillies lost 5-3 to the Houston Astros.

Miguel Tejada homered to extend his hitting streak to 18 games and Lance Berkman had a two-run double for the Astros.

  Playoff Race

Lee (7-4), a strong candidate to start Game 1 in the best-of-5 division series Wednesday, worked 5 2/3 innings. The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner surrendered four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits while striking out six.

"There's a few games I'd like to take back," Lee said. "For the most part, I feel pretty good about how I've done. I'm excited to see what [the playoffs] are all about. I have to try not to let the heat of the moment and the emotions get the best of me, and focus on getting hitters out."

Since going 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA in his first five starts with the Phillies, the left-hander is 2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his past seven. Lee, who extended his career-high innings total to 231, was acquired from Cleveland in late July. He has never pitched in the postseason.

"We've been monitoring his work," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We thought that was a good point in the game to get him."

The Phillies enter the final weekend of the season at 92-67, one game behind the Dodgers in the race for best record and home-field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. Los Angeles owns the tiebreaker after winning the season series 4-3.

Philadelphia hosts the Florida Marlins in its last three games. The Dodgers are home against Colorado, which clinched a playoff spot earlier Thursday. The Rockies could still catch Los Angeles for the NL West title with a three-game sweep.

The 70th sellout crowd of the season at Citizens Bank Park greeted Phillies players with a standing ovation, thanking them for winning their third consecutive division title, which was wrapped up with a 10-3 win over Houston on Wednesday night. Fans received white rally towels that read "National League East Champions, 2009," and they frequently punctuated a festive atmosphere by waving them.

By drawing 44,905 fans, the Phillies set a franchise record for attendance at 3,465,206. The previous mark was 3,422,583, during last season's run to the World Series championship.

"We want to win every game," Lee said. "We're already in the playoffs, but we want to guarantee ourselves home-field advantage. That's a big difference. You also want to feel good about yourselves going in, but it's not a bad feeling knowing we're already in the playoffs."

Though Manuel said the Phillies would love home-field advantage, he also wants his team as healthy as possible. He rested regulars Chase Utley and Shane Victorino on Thursday night and will likely spell Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth at some point this weekend.

The Phillies received some bad news after the game when the team announced that reliever J.C. Romero would visit New York Mets medical director Dr. David Altchek for persistent pain in his strained left forearm. Romero declined to speak with reporters after the game. Manuel didn't sound optimistic.

"It's going to be hard for Romero to go out there and compete," Manuel said. "We don't think he's well yet. I'm waiting to see. I have to go with the guys who are healthy and ready to pitch."

Tejada homered to left in the sixth inning and later singled in a run, leaving him four hits from his fourth 200-hit season. His homer put the Astros further in front after the Phillies cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fifth. Tejada has batted .429 during the streak.

Houston starter Felipe Paulino (3-11) snapped his seven-game losing streak with five strong innings, earning his first win since June 27. Though he needed 110 pitches, he allowed only one run and six hits.

"He's a work-in-progress," interim manager Dave Clark said. "He has a power arm and will only get better."

Jose Valverde yielded two ninth-inning runs but with two on he retired Miguel Cairo on a liner to center field for the final out.

Notes

  • Phillies reliever Chan Ho Park returned to Philadelphia after feeling discomfort in his right hamstring during a rehab outing in the Florida Instructional League. He will see team doctor Michael Ciccotti on Friday.
  • Astros left fielder Carlos Lee missed the game with a sore right hand.
  • Phillies reliever Brett Myers pitched the seventh, his first appearance since Sept. 12. He proclaimed ready for the postseason.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Cliff Lee is pulled in the sixth inning and falls to 2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his last seven starts.  (US Presswire)
Cliff Lee is pulled in the sixth inning and falls to 2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his last seven starts. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

P. Feliz
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Houston

M. Tejada
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF5110011 .287
Kazuo Matsui, 2B3210100 .253
Miguel Tejada, SS3223000 .314
Lance Berkman, 1B4022000 .272
Hunter Pence, RF4010002 .285
Jeff Keppinger, 3B4010002 .259
Jason Michaels, LF4020020 .237
Humberto Quintero, C3000021 .237
Felipe Paulino, P2000021 .040
   a- Aaron Boone, PH1000003 .000
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .333
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .250
    LaTroy Hawkins, P0000000 .000
   b- Chris Coste, PH1000000 .224
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals34510517  
a-flied out for Paulino in the 6th
b-grounded out for Hawkins in the 9th
Batting
2B - Lance Berkman (30, Lee), Jason Michaels (12, Lee)
HR - Miguel Tejada (14, Lee)
SH - Kazuo Matsui (16)
RBI - Miguel Tejada 3 (85), Lance Berkman 2 (80)
Team LOB - 6
Houston Astros
Felipe Paulino (W,3-11) 5611350 6.27
Jeff Fulchino (H,12) 1100110 3.33
Wesley Wright 1100000 5.74
LaTroy Hawkins 1200020 2.17
Jose Valverde 1322100 2.33
Pitches-Strikes - Felipe Paulino 110-64, Jeff Fulchino 20-11, Wesley Wright 26-14, LaTroy Hawkins 21-13, Jose Valverde 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felipe Paulino 3-7, Wesley Wright 1-2
Batters Faced - Felipe Paulino 24, Jeff Fulchino 5, Wesley Wright 4, LaTroy Hawkins 5, Jose Valverde 7
Philadelphia Phillies
Ben Francisco, CF4130102 .257
Eric Bruntlett, 2B5000037 .158
Jimmy Rollins, SS4010002 .250
    Tyler Walker, P0000000 .000
    Sergio Escalona, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Stairs, PH0100100 .202
Ryan Howard, 1B3010202 .276
Raul Ibanez, LF5011014 .274
Jayson Werth, RF5120004 .268
Pedro Feliz, 3B5022010 .268
Paul Bako, C3010111 .230
   b- Andy Tracy, PH1010000 .500
    Shane Victorino, PR0000000 .293
Cliff Lee, P2000012 .184
    Clay Condrey, P0000000 .000
   c- Greg Dobbs, PH1000011 .255
    Brett Myers, P0000000 .222
    Miguel Cairo, SS2010002 .235
Totals40313358  
a-walked for Escalona in the 9th
b-singled for Bako in the 9th
c-struck out for Condrey in the 6th
Batting
2B - Ben Francisco 2 (30, Paulino, Paulino), Pedro Feliz (30, Valverde)
RBI - Raul Ibanez (93), Pedro Feliz 2 (82)
2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez (29), Pedro Feliz 2 (36)
SB - Jayson Werth (16, 2nd base off Paulino/Quintero)
Team LOB - 15
Fielding
DP - Feliz-Bruntlett-Howard, Feliz-Bruntlett-Howard
PB - Paul Bako (6)
E - Paul Bako (5, Interference)
Philadelphia Phillies
Cliff Lee (L,14-13) 5.2743161 3.22
Clay Condrey 0.1000000 3.07
Brett Myers 1311000 4.80
Tyler Walker 1000010 3.24
Sergio Escalona 1000000 4.09
HBP - Quintero (by Clay Condrey)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 89-64, Clay Condrey 3-2, Brett Myers 18-13, Tyler Walker 8-6, Sergio Escalona 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 3-7, Brett Myers 2-0, Tyler Walker 2-0, Sergio Escalona 2-1
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 25, Clay Condrey 2, Brett Myers 5, Tyler Walker 3, Sergio Escalona 3
Game Information
Attendance - 44905
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Tim Tschida, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Jeff Nelson