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Lee strikes out 11 Astros in return to Philadelphia

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Carlos Lee wouldn't let that other Lee outdo him.

Lee had three hits and four RBI, falling a double short of the cycle, but Cliff Lee stymied the rest of the Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Houston 9-4 Saturday night.

Lee and Angel Sanchez had the only four hits off the ace lefty, who made his much-anticipated return to Philadelphia.

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"Basically Carlos Lee was their offense," Cliff Lee said. "He had an unbelievable game."

In his first game back with the Phillies in front of fans who adore him, Cliff Lee even heard cheers after striking out.

Lee can do no wrong in Philadelphia -- except retire Carlos Lee.

The slugger is 8 for 21 with three homers and seven RBI against the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner.

"There are guys that are harder to get out than others," Cliff Lee said. "He's definitely been a difficult out for me."

A day after rallying against closer Brandon Lyon for a comeback win in the ninth, the Phillies roughed up starter Wandy Rodriguez (0-1). He allowed seven runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.

"I thought he had better stuff than the runs showed," Astros manager Brad Mills said.

Rodriguez was disappointed with the results.

"I really thought I had good location," he said. "I felt fine out there. I thought I threw mainly good pitches."

Lee (1-0) allowed three runs and four hits, striking out 11 in seven innings. Raul Ibanez was 2 for 3 with two walks, two RBI and three runs to pace a 14-hit attack.

The four-time NL East champion Phillies stunned the baseball world when they swept in and signed Lee to a $120 million, five-year contract in December. Lee turned down more money from the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers to return to Philadelphia.

His addition made the Phillies instant favorites to win their second World Series title in four years and gave them a starting rotation that's already been compared to some of the all-time best.

Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels are all aces, and Joe Blanton might be the best No. 5 starter in the majors.

Lee received a rousing standing ovation during pregame introductions. Fans stayed on their feet and continued applauding for his entire walk from the bullpen to the dugout.

Lee got another ovation when he came to the plate in the second. He even got cheers on his way back to the dugout after striking out and running to first because the ball eluded catcher J.R. Towles.

Coming off their dramatic finish in Friday's opener, the Phillies got started quickly in this one.

Placido Polanco and Jimmy Rollins hit consecutive one-out singles in the first. Ryan Howard followed with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. After Ben Francisco struck out, Ibanez hit a double off the wall in left-center to make it 2-0.

Lee struck out three of the first five batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until Sanchez led off the fourth with a single. Carlos Lee then drove a triple to right-center to cut the Phillies' lead to 2-1.

Lee escaped further trouble by striking out Bill Hall and retiring Chris Johnson on a bouncer to the mound.

"He threw 80-90 percent fastballs and mixed in some change-ups," Hall said. "We tried to adjust so he went to his cutter."

After Lee sacrificed runners to second and third in the bottom half, Victorino looped a two-run single to right to make it 4-1.

The Phillies chased Rodriguez in the fifth after Francisco hit an RBI double and Ibanez followed with a run-scoring single. Enerio Del Rosario entered and allowed an RBI single to Wilson Valdez that made it 7-1.

Carlos Lee hit a towering drive to left to get the Astros within 7-3 in the sixth.

Notes

  • Bud Norris will start Sunday for the Astros instead of J.A. Happ, who was pushed back to Tuesday after straining his oblique in his last exhibition outing.
  • Oswalt faces his former team Sunday. The Phillies sent Happ and two minor leaguers to Houston for Oswalt last July.
  • Lee has 10 career double-digit strikeout games. He came in 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA against Houston.
 
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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Raul Ibanez follows through on an RBI double off Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez to help the Phillies to the win. (AP)
Raul Ibanez follows through on an RBI double off Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez to help the Phillies to the win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Houston

C. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
Philadelphia

R. Ibanez
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Bourn, CF5000032 .111
Angel Sanchez, SS4320010 .500
Hunter Pence, RF4010021 .250
Carlos Lee, LF4134000 .375
Bill Hall, 2B4000033 .000
Chris Johnson, 3B3010011 .143
Brett Wallace, 1B4000012 .125
J.R. Towles, C4010000 .250
Wandy Rodriguez, P2000020 .000
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
    Mark Melancon, P0000000 .000
    Aneury Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe Inglett, PH1000000 .000
    Jeff Fulchino, P0000000 .000
   b- Jason Michaels, PH1000012 .000
Totals36484014  
a-grounded out for A. Rodriguez in the 8th
b-struck out for Fulchino in the 9th
Batting
3B - Carlos Lee (1, Lee)
HR - Carlos Lee (1, Lee)
RBI - Carlos Lee 4 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee 3 (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Angel Sanchez (1, Throwing)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wandy Rodriguez (L,0-1) 4977150 15.75
Enerio Del Rosario 1100010 0.00
Mark Melancon 1100020 0.00
Aneury Rodriguez 1111100 9.00
Jeff Fulchino 1211010 9.00
HBP - Ruiz (by Wandy Rodriguez)
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 83-57, Enerio Del Rosario 13-9, Mark Melancon 13-9, Aneury Rodriguez 25-16, Jeff Fulchino 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 3-5, Enerio Del Rosario 2-0, Mark Melancon 1-0, Aneury Rodriguez 1-2, Jeff Fulchino 2-0
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 24, Enerio Del Rosario 4, Mark Melancon 4, Aneury Rodriguez 5, Jeff Fulchino 5
Philadelphia Phillies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Shane Victorino, CF3012000 .167
   a- John Mayberry Jr., PH-CF2000012 .333
Placido Polanco, 3B5230000 .375
Jimmy Rollins, SS5120013 .444
Ryan Howard, 1B5121033 .500
Ben Francisco, RF5122024 .375
Raul Ibanez, LF3322201 .286
Carlos Ruiz, C3111002 .286
Wilson Valdez, 2B4011013 .375
Cliff Lee, P2000010 .000
   b- Ross Gload, PH1000001 .500
    Danys Baez, P0000000 .000
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
Totals38914929  
a-struck out for Victorino in the 5th
b-grounded out for Lee in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ben Francisco (1, Rodriguez), Raul Ibanez (1, Rodriguez), Carlos Ruiz (1, A. Rodriguez)
SH - Cliff Lee (1)
RBI - Shane Victorino 2 (2), Ryan Howard (2), Ben Francisco 2 (3), Raul Ibanez 2 (3), Carlos Ruiz (1), Wilson Valdez (2)
2-OUT RBI - Shane Victorino 2 (2), Ben Francisco (1), Raul Ibanez (1)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Placido Polanco (1, Throwing)
Philadelphia Phillies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Cliff Lee (W,1-0) 74330111 3.86
Danys Baez 1210010 0.00
Jose Contreras 1200020 0.00
HBP - Johnson (by Cliff Lee)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 111-77, Danys Baez 23-15, Jose Contreras 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 8-2, Danys Baez 3-0
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 26, Danys Baez 6, Jose Contreras 5
Game Information
Attendance - 45455
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 51
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Jerry Layne