That finally changes Wednesday night.
Lee returns to the city where he turned into one of baseball's best pitchers and gets his first crack at the Indians, who have turned into an offensive juggernaut of late.
They're the only team he's never faced and the one with which he made his major league debut in 2002. Lee (2-1, 3.03 ERA) was a middle-of-the-road starter early in his career before a breakout 2008 season, going 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA to win the AL Cy Young Award.
In July 2009, with the Indians concerned about signing the soon-to-be free agent, they dealt Lee to Philadelphia (12-15) for four players. None of them have had much success in the majors, and only pitcher Carlos Carrasco and catcher Lou Marson remain with Cleveland.
Making the Lee deal look even worse, the Indians (11-13) have finished below .500 and no higher than 23rd in the majors in ERA every year since his last full season with the team. No Cleveland pitcher has won more than 13 games since he left.
Lee, meanwhile, has the majors' third-best ERA (2.90) since the start of 2008 and his 23 complete games in that span rank second.
One of those came in his last start at Progressive Field, defeating Seattle on July 16, 2009.
"It doesn't feel like it's been that long since I played here," Lee said Tuesday. "Tomorrow is just another outing, but it's going to be interesting and it's going to be neat."
The left-hander was 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his first three starts this season but has allowed eight runs and 17 hits over 12 innings in his last two.
He'll be facing a red-hot Cleveland offense which has outscored opponents 33-5 while pounding out 45 hits - 18 for extra bases - during a three-game winning streak. That follows an 11-game stretch during which the Indians failed to score more than three runs nine times.
They opened this two-game set by hitting seven home runs - the most by one team in any game this season - en route to a 14-2 victory Tuesday.
Ryan Raburn became the first Indians player since Travis Hafner in 2004 to record two straight multihomer games. He's 7 for 8 with seven RBIs in that span. Raburn had one home run in his previous 87 games.
"Right now everything is clicking for me," he said. "I'm trying to ride this out as long as I can."
Reynolds, though, is 0 for 6 with five strikeouts against Lee and Raburn has gone 2 for 19.
Nick Swisher is 8 for 25 (.320), but he may miss a second straight game due to a sore shoulder.
While Lee has surrendered five walks through five starts, counterpart Trevor Bauer (0-1, 5.40) issued seven in his lone appearance for Cleveland this season. Bauer, though, yielded only two hits and three runs in five innings of the 6-0 loss to Tampa Bay on April 6.
The right-hander was sent back to Triple-A Columbus after that game with Carrasco returning from a suspension, and he may follow this outing the same way. Bauer, 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts at Columbus, is starting only because Cleveland is playing its sixth game in five days.
Bauer is 1-3 with a 5.91 ERA in five major league starts, walking 20 in 21 1-3 innings.
Philadelphia had a three-game win streak snapped Tuesday, but the bright spot was Delmon Young going 2 for 3 with a homer in his Phillies debut. Young, last year's AL championship series MVP with Detroit, had been on the disabled list as he recovered from ankle surgery.
|April 18, 2013||John Lannan||15-Day DL||Strained left quadriceps tendon|
|March 22, 2013||Delmon Young||15-Day DL||Recovery from right ankle surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Delmon Young||15-Day DL||Recovery from right ankle surgery|
|April 30, 2013||Nick Swisher||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|April 25, 2013||Lou Marson||15-Day DL||Right shoulder soreness|
|April 20, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - left wrist contusion|
|April 20, 2013||Brett Myers||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|April 16, 2013||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Sore elbow|
|April 15, 2013||Michael Bourn||15-Day DL||Right hand laceration|
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ryan Raburn has been so good at the plate, he's now getting his name chanted when he takes the field.
Raburn tied a career high with four hits and drove in two runs, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-0 on Wednesday night.
Raburn, coming off back-to-back two-homer games, had an RBI single in the third and a run-scoring double in the fifth. He has 12 hits in his last 14 at-bats, a stretch that began Sunday, while totaling four homers, nine RBIs and five runs scored in the last four games.
Raburn has taken advantage of increased playing time due to injuries to Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn . Over his last seven games, he's batting .500 (15 for 30) and has raised his average from .195 to .364.
"When you plug a guy in, whether it's injury or a doubleheader or whatever, and he gets this hot, that's such an added bonus," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Raburn, who was unavailable for comment following the game. "You can't flip a switch on when a guy plays, but he's been so hot. We've been able to hit him all over the lineup."
Trevor Bauer allowed one hit in five strong innings for his first American League win, despite allowing six walks and pitching out of constant trouble. Bauer (1-1), called up from Triple-A Columbus before the game, struck out five and combined with four relievers for the shutout.
The Indians have won a season-high four straight games in which they have outscored their opponents 39-5, including a 14-2 win over the Phillies on Tuesday.
"The Indians beat up on us these two games," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "They took it to us pretty good. They've got a lot of energy and are playing real good."
Cliff Lee , pitching against the Indians for the first time since Cleveland dealt him to Philadelphia during the 2009 season, allowed five runs in six innings. Lee (2-2) has given up 13 runs and 26 hits in 18 innings in his last three starts.
Cleveland fans have noticed how well Raburn is hitting. Fans seated in right field chanted his name while he was in the field and most of the 12,730 in attendance took up the chant as he struck out in the eighth inning.
"Everybody would like to play every day," Francona said. "That's why guys are good. He has taken this opportunity and made the most of it. This will serve him well down the road."
Raburn, who was 2 for 19 with seven strikeouts in his career against Lee coming in, singled in the second when the Indians took a 1-0 lead on Mike Aviles ' sacrifice fly. Raburn's infield hit in the third capped Cleveland's three-run rally and his RBI double in the fifth gave the Indians a five-run lead. He added a bloop single in the seventh.
Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run double in the third while Michael Brantley had three hits.
Bauer was likely making a spot start as the Indians needed an extra starter because of a rainout last week. The right-hander, who walked seven in five innings in his first start against Tampa Bay on April 6, didn't allow a hit until Domonic Brown 's two-out single in the fourth. Raburn took an extra base hit away from Ryan Howard with a catch at the wall in right field earlier in the inning.
Bauer walked the first two hitters in the fifth, but retired Jimmy Rollins , Michael Young and Chase Utley to end the inning.
"For whatever reason, I lock in more when guys are on base," Bauer said. "I'm a real competitor. I don't like giving up runs."
Cleveland was the only team Lee hadn't faced in his career. Lee won the AL Cy Young Award with the Indians in 2008, going 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA. Cleveland also defeated Roy Halladay , another former Cy Young winner, on Tuesday.
"Their whole team is swinging the bat so well, you just have to credit them," Lee said. "Raburn had another big game, but so did a lot of guys."
Swisher missed his second straight game because of a sore left shoulder.
Delmon Young started at designated hitter for the second straight game for the Phillies. Manager Charlie Manuel planned on playing Young in right field, but he was struck on his throwing elbow by a pitch from Zach McAllister on Tuesday. Making his season debut in that game, Young homered in his first-bat.
NOTES: Phillies OF Ben Revere had a seventh-inning single, but remains in a 4-for-28 slump. On the season, he is batting .204 with one extra-base hit and five walks in 100 plate appearances. ... Manuel said Delmon Young will be limited to pinch-hitting when the Phillies open a four-game series at home against Miami on Thursday. ... Cabrera, the Indians' everyday shortstop, was the DH while Aviles started at short. ... OF Michael Bourn (lacerated finger) remains sidelined and there's no timetable for his return. ... RHP Brett Myers (sore elbow) will be re-evaluated during the weekend and could be cleared to begin a throwing program. ... The Indians made room for Bauer on their 25-man roster by optioning LHP Nick Hagadone to Triple-A Columbus. Hagadone went 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA in eight relief appearances.