With a bang. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Cliff Lee struggled early, serving up some cookies to some hot hitters that promptly wound up in the seats, as Josh Beckett kept the Phillies offense in check and the Red Sox cruised to a 5-1 victory on Sunday in Philadelphia.
For the second game in a row, Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles led off the game with a solo home run. Nothing else to editorialize here. Just crushed the pitch into the left field seats. Lee then recovered to strike out the side, but would allow another run in the second on an RBI single by (wait for it) Mike Aviles.
The Red Sox put the game away in the third on a long three run home run by Jarrod Saltalamacchia (I spelled this correctly without looking, hooray for a smart boy). Watching the game on TBS, Ruben Amaro, Jr. was in the broadcast booth with Dennis Eckersley and the other guy. Hearing Amaro's grunt of displeasure was almost worth it.
Lee settled in after the Saltalamacchia bomb, finishing with nine strikeouts over seven innings, but really that's like saying you drove to work really well after causing a six-car pile-up pulling out of your driveway.
The Phillies had a few opportunities, but like Saturday night, they were hitting balls hard that just failed to drop. It happened. The best chance to break out came in the eighth as the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs for the struggling (read: terrible) Ty Wigginton, who grounded out weakly to second base.
Also like Saturday, seeing the Phillies bullpen pitch effectively was a pretty neat experience.
GameGraph of inevitability after the jump