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New pitcher Lee beats Giants in Phillies' debut

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[August 01, 2009]  SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Cliff Lee spotted his fastball with precision, and his curveball, too. What a National League debut for the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.

Lee pitched a four-hitter, carrying a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and even adding two hits with the bat, and the Philadelphia Phillies felt an immediate impact two days after acquiring the left-hander from Cleveland, beating the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Friday night.

Jayson Werth homered to put Philadelphia ahead early and added a two-run single in the seventh, Raul Ibanez drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh for an insurance run and Lee did the rest.

He tossed his 11th career complete game, fourth this season and third in four starts. Lee's line: one run, six strikeouts, two walks, 109 pitches and 78 strikes. He was done in 2 hours, 39 minutes, getting a hug from catcher Paul Bako afterward and tucking the game ball in his back pocket as a keepsake.

Lee faced the minimum through five and didn't allow a hit until Juan Uribe doubled to the deep corner in right with one out in the sixth. His defense also was spot on, with Lee hustling forward on Edgar Renteria's eighth-inning sacrifice bunt and quickly firing to first.


Lee doubled in the eighth for his first career extra-base hit and that gave him his first multihit game; he doubled his previous career hit total. Fittingly, it was Ben Francisco - who also came to the Phillies from the Indians on Wednesday - whose sacrifice fly helped Lee score his first career run.

Lee faced only two three-ball counts until the seventh on a cool night at the Giants' waterfront ballpark, where an eerie mist hovered over the field for much of the game. He had thrown only 13 balls among his first 54 pitches.

Lee, who went 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts for the Indians this season, won his fourth straight start dating to a loss at Detroit on July 10.

He struck out Randy Winn looking on a 93 mph fastball on his third pitch of the game and was through that inning on all of nine pitches.

Ryan Garko, Lee's teammate with Cleveland until getting dealt to the Giants on Monday, drew a 12-pitch walk in the second for San Francisco's first baserunner. Garko offered some insight on Lee to his new teammates during a hitter's meeting Thursday, telling them that Lee has been pretty much unbeatable of late.

After Garko's walk, Lee got Aaron Rowand to ground into an inning-ending double play. That was the first of 12 straight batters retired before Uribe's hit.

The way Lee was going in San Francisco's pitcher-friendly ballpark, it was clear this could be a special outing.

Kevin Millwood threw the Phillies' last no-hitter on April 27, 2003, against the Giants.

Werth homered just over a leaping Rowand in left-center leading off the second to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead - and it held up this time. Philadelphia also took an early lead Thursday night but lost the series opener 7-2.

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Giants rookie Ryan Sadowski (2-4) lost his fourth straight start after beginning his career 2-0 with 16 scoreless innings. He was done after four innings and 82 pitches and hasn't gone longer than five during his losing streak.

It didn't help that the right-hander needed 25 pitches to get through the first.

Rowand returned to San Francisco's lineup after missing four straight games with a torn tendon in his right forearm, which he hurt when hit with a pitch by Atlanta's Tommy Hanson on July 20. Rowand hadn't started the previous 10 games.

Newly acquired Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez, traded by Pittsburgh on Wednesday, is expected to be added to the roster Saturday and perhaps be available to pinch-hit. He's been nursing an inflamed left knee.

NOTES: Lee, who is 3-0 lifetime vs. San Francisco, was 2 for 32 lifetime at the plate before Friday. For the Indians, Lee had won his last three starts with two complete games and a 1.44 ERA. ... Philadelphia All-Star CF Shane Victorino was held out of the lineup for the second straight game with a bruised left knee. The injury forced him to leave Wednesday's 4-0 loss at Arizona in the seventh inning. ... Injured Phillies RHP Pedro Martinez, placed on the DL with a strained right shoulder after signing a one-year deal July 15, allowed five runs - four earned - and three hits in five innings of a rehab start Friday night for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

[Associated Press; By JANIE McCAULEY]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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