Lee & bullpen can't hold late lead in Phillies' loss

By Sean Greene 5:45pm, April 25, 2013
Pittsburgh's Starling Marte slides home past Erik Kratz for an insurance run in the 8th inning. (AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr)
Garrett Jones' pinch-hit, 2-run double in the 7th inning put the Pirates on top to stay in a 6-4 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Phillies' starter Cliff Lee had a 3-1 advantage going into the 7th inning, and seemed to be in pretty good shape surrounding a walk to Starling Marte around a pair of Pirates' outs. Pittsburgh then connected on three straight singles, including RBI hits by Gabby Sanchez and Michael McKendry which tied the game.

Lee was removed after throwing 122 pitches to get through seven innings, and reliever Phillippe Aumont (1-3) didn't do much better. After striking out Neil Walker to start the 8th, Aumont hit Clint Barmas and gave up a single to Snyder. Marte then singled to load the bases for Jones, who batted for Marte and smacked a double inside the right field line to score the 2 go-ahead runs.

Manuel then brought in Chad Durbin, who forced a Sanchez flyout to right fielder John Mayberry, Jr, but a strong throw was just up the line and the speedy Marte just beat the tag for the sixth Pirate run.

Kevin Fransden doubled to lead off the home half of the 8th, and then scored after a non-sacrifice bunt by Utley moved him to 3rd and a grounder into the shift by Howard scored the 3rd baseman.

Charlie Manuel was ejected by home plate umpire Mark Carlson in the top of the 9th inning after Phillies catcher Erik Kratz bumped into batter Clint Barnes on a squib right in front of the plate. Interference wasn't ruled on the play, which caused Kratz to argue, and then Manuel to discuss and then get tossed.

Dom Brown had given the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning with a 2-out double which drove in Chase Utley who led off the frame with a walk.

After Gaby Sanchez tied the game off of Cliff Lee with a home run in the 6th, the Phillies jumped back ahead by putting their first three batters against James McDonald on in the bottom of the frame.

The third of those hits was an RBI single to right by Ryan Howard to make it 2-1. Following a fielder's choice where Chase Utley was out at the plate, Dom Brown hit a sac fly to shallow centerfield which plated Ryan Howard to give the Phillies a two-run lead, but it didn't last.

Justin Wilson pitched two perfect innings of relief to improve to 2-0 for the Pirates, with Tony Watson giving up the 8th inning run but no more to earn his first career save.

The Phillies dropped to 6-2 in games they lead after 6 innings, and 3-4 in games they were tied after 7. They dropped 3-of-4 to the Pirates and 5-of-8 on the homestand. The Pirates had never won a series at Citizens Bank Park (now 1-7-3). They play at the Mets over the weekend, beginning with Friday's matchup between Kyle Kendrick (1-1) and Dillon Gee (1-3).

NOTES: Lee has issued five walks in his last 3 starts, four have scored, all with 2 outs... Manuel's ejection was the 51st of his career... The Phillies are now 0-3-4 in their last seven four-game series after going 0-1-1 on this homestand... Pirates starter James McDonald had his first career multi-hit game (2 singles)... Sanchez has homered in each of his last three starts... Aumont had not surrendered a run at Citizens Bank Park before Thursday, he had made 13 consecutive scoreless appearances (13 2/3 IP).

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