Interleague Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 20th (All times Eastern)
Boston Red Sox (19-21) at Philadelphia Phillies (21-20), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Boston - Josh Beckett (3-4, 4.97) Philadelphia - Cliff Lee (0-1, 1.95)
(Sports Network) - Cliff Lee has pitched exceptionally this season. If only the Phillies could give the former Cy Young Award winner some offensive support, Philadelphia might not be in last place in the NL East.
Lee, who has given up two earned runs or less in all but one of his five starts this season, will try to give the Phillies a series victory over the Red Sox this afternoon.
The problem for Lee has been the Phillies haven't been scoring runs while he's been on the mound. The lefty has compiled 34 strikeouts against just four walks and he's coming off a season-high 10 strikeout effort vs. Houston Tuesday. That covered eight innings, but the Phillies blew the lead in the ninth before winning 4-3 in 10 frames.
Lee's career mark against the Red Sox stands at 3-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 11 starts.
Josh Beckett, who is coming off a seven shutout-inning performance against the Mariners, will be back on the mound for the Red Sox in the finale of this three-game set. The right-hander, who pitched Tuesday on his 32nd birthday, has appeared in 20 games (18 starts) against the Phillies in his career and is 8-5 with a 4.18 ERA.
Last night, Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 3-for-4 and launched one of Boston's four homers, as the Red Sox halted the Phillies' six-game winning streak with a 7-5 decision. David Ortiz had a two-run homer, while Mike Aviles and Will Middlebrooks added solo shots for Boston, which has split the first four games of its eight-game road trip.
Jon Lester (3-3) gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings to pick up the victory, while his counterpart, Joe Blanton, took a loss at home for the first time in over two years.
"Lester gave us everything he had. The bullpen and the defense saved the game," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.
Blanton (4-4), who was 8-0 in 17 home starts dating back to May 8, 2010, surrendered seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
"Threw a lot of pitches down the middle tonight. Not good results when you do that," said Blanton. "It was just one of those days."
Freddy Galvis hit a two-run homer, while Shane Victorino went 3-for-5 with an RBI but popped out to leave the bases loaded in the eighth.
Philadelphia went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.
Boston dropped the 2011 set against Philadelphia, losing two of three games at Citizens Bank Park. The Red Sox own a 28-20 advantage vs. the Phillies since interleague play began in 1997.
05/20 10:36:04 ET