The bullpen and the lineup are major culprits of the Philadelphia Phillies ' longest losing streak of the season.
They hope starting Cliff Lee means they won't have to rely much on either one.
Lee will try to help the Phillies end their skid in the finale of a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
Philadelphia (31-35) has seen its relievers post a 4.56 ERA, ranking ahead of only two of baseball's worst teams record-wise - the New York Mets (4.65) and Houston (4.86).
The Phillies' bullpen has been particularly poor during the current five-game losing streak, surrendering nine runs and 18 hits in 11 innings.
The offense hasn't provided much relief, either. Philadelphia is batting .218 with 13 runs during the slide, which has matched the team's worst of the year and would equal its longest from last season with a loss Thursday.
The lineup mustered only one extra-base hit Wednesday in a 4-3 loss at Minnesota (29-33). The relievers wasted a two-run, sixth-inning lead, with the decisive run coming on a wild pitch from Justin De Fratus.
Manager Charlie Manuel was asked if it's possible the Phillies aren't as good as they might look on paper.
"I would never say something like that. If we have the right attitude, play the game right and love to play, we can win more games than you'd ever think we could," Manuel said. "You can go a long way sometimes by just wanting to play, playing right. We got some 'want to.' We're just not consistent."
Lee (7-2, 2.55 ERA) certainly is, going 5-0 with a 1.84 ERA over his last seven starts. He's pitched at least seven innings in all of those games and leads the Phillies with 95 1-3.
However, he wasted a four-run lead in Friday's 5-4 loss at Milwaukee. The left-hander gave up four runs in seven innings and tied a season high with three walks.
Lee is facing the Twins for the first time since a loss while with Texas on Aug. 26, 2010. He's 3-1 with a 2.41 ERA over his last five visits to Minnesota, winning his most recent with Cleveland on June 3, 2009.
The Twins are trying to win five in a row at home for the first time since May 28-June 9, 2012. They're hitting .321 over the last four.
Kevin Correia (5-4, 4.11) will try to complete the first sweep by either team in the all-time series, but he hasn't defeated Philadelphia since he was a rookie with San Francisco on Aug. 10, 2003.
The right-hander has since gone 0-3 with a 10.89 ERA in 10 games - three starts - versus the Phillies but hasn't faced them since 2010.
Correia is 0-1 in his last two home starts while allowing eight runs and five homers in 13 2-3 innings, compared to 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his first four.
He gave up three runs with seven strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings of Saturday's 4-3 win in 11 at Washington.
Ryan Howard is 3 for 11 with a homer versus Correia, but the slugging first baseman is batting .222 with no homers and five RBIs over the past 12 games.
|June 09, 2013||Erik Kratz||15-Day DL||Left knee injury|
|May 22, 2013||Chase Utley||Day-to-Day||Sore Ribcage|
|May 21, 2013||Chase Utley||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 20, 2013||Ryan Howard||Day-to-Day||Sore left knee|
|May 20, 2013||Carlos Ruiz||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 19, 2013||Carlos Ruiz||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|June 11, 2013||Jared Burton||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|June 10, 2013||Aaron Hicks||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|June 01, 2013||Justin Morneau||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|May 29, 2013||Trevor Plouffe||15-Day DL||Strained left calf|
|May 26, 2013||Wilkin Ramirez||15-Day DL||Head injury|
|May 23, 2013||Pedro Florimon||Day-to-Day||Left game - sprained right index finger|
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After just missing a diving catch, nothing was going to stop Ben Revere from scoring the go-ahead run one inning later.
Not former teammate Justin Morneau . Not Joe Mauer . Not third-base coach Ryne Sandberg
Cliff Lee allowed two runs in seven strong innings, Revere had four hits and scored the decisive run, and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Thursday night and snap a five-game losing streak.
The speedy Revere slid home under catcher Mauer's tag with nobody out in the eighth, scoring from third base on Jimmy Rollins ' chopper. Morneau was playing in at first base, but his throw was too late to catch Revere - formerly of the Twins.
"I'm just going on contact, no matter what," Revere said. "Actually, Sandberg was like, `On a swinging bunt, don't go.' I was like, `I'm going. I don't care, I'm going.' He said all right.'
"Luckily, Jimmy put it in the right spot and I could score."
Lee (8-2) gave up only one hit and faced the minimum number of batters through 6 1-3 innings before Mauer walked and Ryan Doumit reached on an infield hit.
Morneau lined a two-run double past a diving Revere to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead in the seventh.
"Perfect placement. I was ticked, I was so ticked," said Revere, who reached on a bunt in the eighth. "That eighth inning was good to get that victory because Lee pitched his tail off."
Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen opened the eighth with a double against reliever Jared Burton (0-4) and scored the tying run on Michael Young 's single.
"It snowballed quick there, but I kept making pitches, limited the damage. That's all I could do at that point," Burton said.
After surrendering a four-run lead in a loss to Milwaukee last Friday, Lee was locked in and performed well again following a loss.
In eight starts this season after a Phillies defeat, Lee is 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA.
The Phillies needed Lee to be as sharp as he was because even though they had 16 hits, they stranded 16 runners - including 10 in the first five innings against Kevin Correia .
"That was frustrating losing the lead," said Lee, who might have pitched longer if not for a blister on his middle finger. "All game it seemed like we had a ton of hits, but somehow never scored. We scored when we needed to."
Mike Adams pitched a perfect eighth, and Jonathan Papelbon worked the ninth for his 12th save.
The Phillies bullpen had given up late leads in the first two games of this series and entered the game with a 4.56 ERA - third worst in baseball.
In contrast, the Twins bullpen had a 1.78 ERA in its previous 18 games before Burton allowed the first four runners to reach in the eighth.
Correia allowed one run and eight hits, and struck out six in five innings. It wasn't as pretty as Lee's performance, but nearly as effective.
"I felt like he was out there for three minutes an inning and I was out there for 30 minutes an inning," Correia said.
Ryan Howard had three singles - all grounders through a Twins' defense shifted to the right side - and an RBI.
Young tried to score on Howard's third single in the sixth, but was thrown out by Doumit.
Mauer had the only other Twins hit, a single in the fourth.
At the end of the night, it was Revere who did the most to change the game's momentum one last time.
"Best game I've seen him play so far," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Without a doubt. It's the best he's hit the ball. It's the best he's run. His speed definitely played a factor in the game."
NOTES: Philadelphia optioned rookie right-hander Tyler Cloyd to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room in the rotation for John Lannan , who is returning from a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. He will start Monday at Washington. The Phillies also recalled infielder Michael Martinez and left-hander Jake Diekman . ... New Minnesota Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino threw out the first pitch. ... Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on former closer Eddie Guardado , who will be inducted into the team's hall of fame on Friday: "He was an everyday guy. He really did take the ball it seemed like every day. Any time you needed him to take the ball, he did it." ... Scott Diamond (4-5, 5.19 ERA) will start the series opener for the Twins against Detroit's Rick Porcello (3-3, 4.86 ERA) on Friday at Target Field. ... Kyle Kendrick (6-4, 3.22 ERA) starts Friday when the Phillies travel to Colorado and open a three-game series against the Rockies and Juan Nicasio (4-2, 4.61 ERA).