All good things must come to an end, even Cliff Lee's initial reign of terror as a National Leaguer. The Phillies' ace was rocked by the Braves Saturday night, surrendered six runs, via three homers, in five innings as Atlanta evened the series with a rain-shortened blowout win.
The Phils struck first, as Chase Utley smashed a first-inning solo homer that almost reached the second deck. But they stranded five runners over the next two innings with some poor at-bats against laboring Braves starter Derek Lowe. Lee escaped one early jam in the second inning, but fell victim to an old adversary in the fourth when Garret Anderson reached him for a three-run homer--the first Lee had allowed in six starts with the Phillies. Anderson went 3 for 3 off Lee, improving to 10 for 20 against him lifetime. Matt Diaz, who's hitting that well against everybody right now, added a two-run shot later in the inning. Diaz is now an almost unfathomable 18 for 31 (.581) facing the Phillies in 2009, including four of his 10 home runs. Lee gave up another homer to Yunel Escobar, a solo shot, one inning later. Meanwhile, the Phillies blew more chances: they got ten additional hits after Utley's first-inning homer, including three straight singles to begin the seventh, but Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez left them there against Atlanta's Mike Gonzalez.
The series concludes Sunday night when Joe Blanton opposes Jair Jurrjens.