CLEARWATER, Fla. (CBS/AP) — Cliff Lee threw four shutout innings, Ryan Howard hit his second home run of the spring and a split squad of Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Sunday.
Lee, the prize of the winter free-agent market, was in midseason form. He held Tampa Bay to two singles while striking out five and walking none in his second start.
“I was throwing the ball where I wanted to a little more than in my last outing,” said Lee, who signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies in December. “Things went well.”
“I felt good, didn’t walk anyone, threw strikes and worked a lot of my pitches,” Lee said. “That’s kind of what you’re supposed to do at this point in spring training.”
The 32-year-old Lee painted the strike zone early and often against a Rays team he last faced in the 2010 AL championship series. Lee left three Rays looking at called third strikes and chatting with plate umpire Mark Carlson.
“I like it when they’re baffled a little bit, I guess,” Lee said. “There’s no telling what they were saying. They could be telling him, ‘How’d your offseason go? How you doing? How’s the family?’ They could be saying, ‘I thought that was a ball, what do you got?’ There’s no telling. But it’s usually a good thing when they’re slamming the bat and arguing with the umpires. It’s usually a good thing for the pitcher.”
Howard hit a long home run in the second off Wade Davis. First base prospect Matt Rizzotti homered in the eighth and Joel Naughton singled home Ross Gload with two outs in the ninth to win it.
Davis allowed two hits in two innings. He struck out two and walked none.
Lee, who will follow Roy Halladay in the Phillies’ rotation when the regular season begins next month, breezed through his outing.
“I told him, ‘If you don’t go five, you don’t get the win,’ and he was OK with that. He’s an unselfish pitcher,” joked bench coach Pete Mackanin, who handled managing duties while Charlie Manuel managed the other half of a split squad in Lakeland, Florida.
Kyle Kendrick pitched three scoreless innings for the Phillies in that game, allowing just one hit in a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
John Mayberry provided the lone run for the Phillies with a long home run in the second inning off of Tigers starter Phil Coke.
It was Mayberry’s second home run of the spring.
NOTES: Roy Oswalt is scheduled to make his second start of the spring on Monday in Tampa against the New York Yankees. Right-hander A.J. Burnett is set to pitch for the Yankees.
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