The Philadelphia Phillies have been plagued all season by an inability to push runs across the plate.
The left-hander looks to avoid losing a fifth straight decision Wednesday night as the Phillies continue a four-game series against the visiting Rockies.
Lee has a 5.06 ERA over his past five starts, but Philadelphia's lineup hasn't exactly done its part, either. Lee (10-6, 3.19 ERA) has lost four times over that span with the Phillies giving him six runs of support.
Philadelphia (55-70) ranks near the bottom of the majors with 467 runs, and Lee's run-support average of 3.68 is among the lowest in the NL. He pitched well his last time out, allowing three runs and five hits over eight innings of a 4-0 home loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.
Lee last lost five straight decisions to open the 2012 season, with the Phillies giving him an average of 2.92 runs. His run-support average of 3.20 last year was the fourth-worst in the majors.
Lee has received an average of 1.86 runs of support in three career regular-season starts against Colorado, going 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA.
The Rockies (59-68) counter with Juan Nicasio (7-6, 4.94), who is coming off a solid outing. He was 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in his previous four starts before allowing two runs in six innings of a 6-3 win at Baltimore on Friday.
The right-hander, though, walked four, raising his total to 12 over his last 20 innings.
Nicasio gave up five runs in 5 2-3 innings while not receiving a decision in his only career start against Philadelphia, an 8-7 loss for Colorado on June 14.
The Rockies won 5-3 on Tuesday night to end a three-game skid. It was their third victory in 15 road games overall and fourth in the last 21 regular-season meetings between these teams in Philadelphia.
Troy Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario homered, and Michael Cuddyer had two hits to make him 6 for 15 in the last four games. Cuddyer is hitting .306 (11 for 36) with three home runs and four doubles against Lee.
Tulowitzki also homered Monday, and he's batting .407 during a seven-game hitting streak.
"He looks a lot more ease at up there," manager Walt Weiss said. "His timing looks really good."
The Phillies struggled offensively again after opening the series with a 5-4 win Monday. They managed three hits for the third time in five games since Ryne Sandberg took over as manager for the fired Charlie Manuel on Friday.
"There are not too many options," Sandberg said. "All the guys have a chance to be out there."
|August 19, 2013||Yorvit Torrealba||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 08, 2013||Christian Friedrich||60-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
|August 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Sprained right middle finger|
|August 01, 2013||Tyler Chatwood||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|August 01, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right middle finger|
|July 31, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right middle finger|
|August 17, 2013||Michael Young||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore left ankle|
|August 15, 2013||John Lannan||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|August 14, 2013||John Lannan||Day-to-Day||Knee|
|July 29, 2013||Jonathan Pettibone||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|July 26, 2013||Cliff Lee||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|July 24, 2013||Domonic Brown||7-Day DL||Concussion|
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Phillies ditched the bench and pressed against the dugout railing rooting on Michael Young .
That saved them a few steps when they charged toward the basepath to mob Young in their biggest celebration yet in six games under interim manager Ryne Sandberg .
Young hit the winning single with one out in the ninth inning after Carlos Ruiz tied the game with a double, pushing the Philadelphia Phillies past the Colorado Rockies 4-3 Wednesday night.
"We battled right to the end," Sandberg said.
Did they ever.
Erik Kratz opened the ninth with a double off Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt (2-4). Pinch runner Casper Wells advanced to third on a grounder and scored the tying run on Ruiz's pinch-hit double to left. Jimmy Rollins was walked intentionally and Young followed with the winning single to left.
Jake Diekman (1-3) tossed a scoreless ninth for the win.
The Phillies stormed out of the dugout and converged on Young.
Nolan Arenado 's two-out single in the eighth inning had put Colorado up 3-2. Arenado made a game-saving stop at third base in Colorado's 5-3 win on Tuesday. One game later, he poked an opposite field single to right off reliever Justin De Fratus.
Betancourt just couldn't make it stand.
"I'd take Rafi with a one-run lead every time," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Ruiz hustled home for the winning run for one of his few bright spots in a down season for the former All-Star catcher. Ruiz, who has only three homers and 16 RBIs, was suspended the first 25 games for using a banned amphetamine.
"With everything that happened, it was tough for me," he said. "But that's no excuse. I'm just trying to do my best and help the team win."
Wilin Rosario homered for Colorado. Chase Utley went deep for the Phillies.
De Fratus hit Charlie Blackmon to open the eighth. Michael Cuddyer hit a one-out single and Arenado made it 3-2 after his run-scoring single.
After losing three of four at Baltimore, the Rockies have dropped two of three so far in the four-game series against the Phillies.
Rockies starter Juan Nicasio allowed two runs - one earned - in 5 2-3 innings and worked out of several jams to keep it close.
"He stayed away from the big inning that was getting him the first time he was up," Weiss said. "When it starts to slip away, he's been able to close out the inning and not let it get away from him."
Phillies starter Cliff Lee remained winless since July 5 and is 0-4 with two no-decisions since beating Atlanta. He kept the Phillies in this one, striking out six and walking none over seven innings.
The Phillies blew several opportunities to help out Lee and bust the game open.
They stranded runners on second and third when Lee struck out swinging to end the second. They scored only one run after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth. Young grounded into a double play to score one run and make it 2-2. Utley fouled out to end the inning.
Nicasio was chased with runners on first and second and two outs in the sixth. Wilton Lopez fanned John Mayberry Jr. on a check swing to escape the jam.
They had some timely hitting in the first when Utley's 16th homer of the season staked Lee to a 1-0 lead.
Rosario tied it a 1 on a solo shot to right in the second that extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Dexter Fowler ripped an RBI single to left later in the inning for a 2-1 lead, but Domonic Brown threw out Jordan Pacheco at home to end the inning.
NOTES: Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (shoulder) is set to make his third rehab start Sunday with Double-A Reading. Halladay also clarified some remarks he made after Tuesday's rehab start that made it seem like he endorsed the move to fire Charlie Manuel and replace him with Sandberg. "I have a lot of respect for Charlie. There were some articles put out that offended me and, I'm sure, offended Charlie. And I called him today and talked to him about it," Halladay said. ... The Phillies signed free-agent OF Roger Bernadina and optioned Michael Martinez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... The Rockies send RHP Chad Bettis (0-2, 5.30 ERA) to the mound Thursday against RHP Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.36) in the finale of the four-game series.