Final, 2-2: The Red Sox and Phillies played one extra inning, but nothing could be decided. This game ends in a 2-2 tie.
Jon Lester and Cliff Lee both shined in their second showdown in six days. The Red Sox eventually struck for two runs off Lee, but the Phillies tied things up with a two-run eighth inning.
Lee gave up two runs on three hits over six innings for the Phillies. He struck out six and walked one.
Lester tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings in which he allowed just four hits. The Red Sox ace struck out five and walked one while throwing 81 pitches. Lester’s spring training ERA now sits at 0.71 after three starts.
The Red Sox’s offense came on a two-run, wall-ball double from catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the sixth inning. Boston only had four hits total off Lee and Co.
The Red Sox will shift their focus to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. The two will square off in a 1:05 p.m. tilt.
Mid 10th, 2-2: The Phillies flashed some leather in the 10th inning.
Ronny Cedeno, who has had a nice day defensively, kicked off the 10th inning with a diving stop at third base. Cedeno popped up and delivered a strong throw across the diamond to nail Mike McCoy.
First baseman Kevin Frandsen then made a nice diving stop on the other side of the field. Frandsen made the play near the line and hustled to the bag himself to retire Corey Brown.
Shannon Wilkerson walked with two outs, but Mike Nesseth rebounded to retire Dan Butler. Butler flied out to Tony Gwynn Jr. in center field.
End 9th, 2-2: Jose Mijares tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and the fans in Clearwater will be treated to some free baseball.
The Red Sox and Phillies will go to extra innings tied up at two apiece.
Mid 9th, 2-2: Jake Diekman breezed through a very quick ninth inning, giving the Phillies a chance to walk off with a victory in the home half.
Ryan Lavarnway, Mike Carp and Jonathan Herrera went down in order.
End 8th, 2-2: The Phillies tied things up in the eighth inning.
Tony Gwynn Jr. crushed a one-out, solo homer off Brayan Villarreal in the eighth. Gwynn got all of it, and Villarreal was yanked two batters later after Jimmy Rollins singled.
The Red Sox turned to Rich Hill, and the left-hander suffered from a strange bounce on a ground ball toward shortstop Jonathan Herrera. Herrera backed up toward the outfield grass while trying to field Kevin Frandsen’s grounder, but the ball took a funny hop and bounced over the shortstop’s head. Left fielder Scott Cousins then had a hard time corralling the rock as well, and the bases loaded up for Clete Thomas.
Thomas tied the score with a chopper back over the mound. Herrera charged it, but he had no chance to make a play.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 2-0: Antonio Bastardo enjoyed a 1-2-3 eighth inning to keep Philadelphia’s deficit at two runs.
Jonny Gomes, Will Middlebrooks and A.J. Pierzynski went down in order.
The Red Sox now will make a couple of defensive changes. Scott Cousins will replace Gomes in left field, and Dan Butler will replace Pierzynski behind the dish. Brayan Villarreal will stick around for another inning on the hill.
In case you’re interested — which I’m sure you are — there are reports coming out of Fort Myers that the Red Sox and David Ortiz are close to a contract extension.
End 7th, Red Sox 2-0: Andrew Miller and Brayan Villarreal combined to keep the Phillies off the scoreboard in the seventh inning.
Marlon Byrd worked a leadoff walk and John Mayberry followed with a single into center field. Miller then nabbed the lead runner on a bunt attempt before exiting the game.
Villarreal, who only made one appearance with the Red Sox after being acquired in last season’s Jake Peavy trade, ended the inning by inducing a double play.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-0: Jonathan Papelbon worked a scoreless seventh inning for the Phillies.
Papelbon, who was the subject of trade rumors throughout last season and over the offseason, struck out two while working around a single and a walk in the seventh inning.
Papelbon lost a little zip on his fastball last season, but the right-hander didn’t look too, too shabby in this outing.
End 6th, Red Sox 2-0: Jon Lester exited in the sixth inning after 81 pitches.
Lester retired Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley on back-to-back flyouts in the sixth before giving way to the Red Sox’s bullpen.
Andrew Miller retired Ryan Howard via flyout upon entering the game.
Lester gave up four hits over 5 2/3 shutout innings. He struck out five and walked one while lowering his spring training ERA to 0.71.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 2-0: A.J. Pierzynski’s wall-ball double broke up Cliff Lee’s scoreless outing in the sixth inning.
Lee issued a rare two-out walk to Jonny Gomes in the sixth. That opened the door for Boston, as Will Middlebrooks followed with a single into left field to set up runners at first and second for Pierzynski.
Pierzynski nearly cleared the left field fence with his opposite-field drive. It plunked about halfway up the wall, and both Gomes and Middlebrooks hustled home. Middlebrooks almost was cut down at the plate, but the Boston third baseman slid in his hand to avoid catcher Wil Nieves’ tag.
Pierzynski took third base on the throw home, but he would get stranded there, as John Mayberry hauled in Bryce Brentz’s deep fly ball to left field at the edge of the warning track.
End 5th, 0-0: Jon Lester continued to match Cliff Lee with a scoreless fifth inning.
Wil Nieves sent a leadoff single into left-center field, but quickly was wiped off the bases on an ill-advised stolen-base attempt. It’s likely Nieves missed a sign, as he took off for second base with Cliff Lee batting and was gunned down by a mile.
Lee struck out swinging and Tony Gwynn Jr. flied out to right fielder Bryce Brentz.
Mid 5th, 0-0: Cliff Lee cruised through another inning in the fifth.
Mike Carp, who owns the Red Sox’s only hit, flied out to Tony Gwynn Jr. in center field. Carp’s second-inning double really is the only ball hit hard against Lee.
Jonathan Herrera grounded out to third base and Mike McCoy struck out swinging in the fifth inning.
End 4th, 0-0: We’ve got a pitchers’ duel, as expected.
It’s a shame the two Jon Lester-Cliff Lee showdowns of the last six days haven’t counted for real, because it’s been fun watching the two talented left-handers go back and forth.
Lester surrendered a leadoff single to Chase Utley in the fourth inning, and also was forced to work around a Will Middlebrooks error.
Lester struck out both Ryan Howard and Marlon Byrd. The Red Sox ace escaped the frame by snagging a line drive comebacker from Ronny Cedeno.
Middlebrooks has had a couple of rough days defensively this spring. He simply didn’t get in front of John Mayberry’s hard chopper to the left side in the fourth inning.
Mid 4th, 0-0: Cliff Lee kept rolling in the fourth inning.
Lee retired Will Middlebrooks, A.J. Pierzynski and Bryce Brentz, who was called up before the game.
Middlebrooks lined out to Chase Utley at second base, A.J. Pierzynski popped out to third baseman Ronny Cedeno and Brentz struck out swinging.
End 3rd, 0-0: Jon Lester faced some trouble for the first time in the third inning. He had no problems wiggling his way out of it, though.
Lester yielded a single and issued a walk in the third inning, giving the Phillies’ offense some life. The threat soon vanished, as Lester struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the inning.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Cliff Lee was sharp again in the third inning.
Lee struck out his counterpart, Jon Lester, before retiring Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jonny Gomes.
Bradley grounded to first base, where Ryan Howard made a nice play before flipping to Lee for the out.
Gomes popped out to Howard in foul territory.
End 2nd, 0-0: Jon Lester maneuvered around a one-out single in the second inning.
Lester struck out Ryan Howard — owner of perhaps the worst contract in baseball — to begin the inning. Marlon Byrd — a former teammate of Lester — then singled into center field.
Byrd’s single didn’t lead to anything, though, as John Mayberry bounced into a tailor made, 4-6-3 double play. Mike McCoy’s flip to second base was a little high, but Jonathan Herrera, who learned Thursday he won the Red Sox’s utility infield competition, had no issues with it.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Cliff Lee ran into a little bit of two-out trouble in the second inning, although part of it was due to the lefty’s overall effectiveness.
Lee surrendered a two-out double to Mike Carp, who nearly went yard. The ball landed on top of the wall in right-center field.
Lee rebounded to strike out Jonathan Herrera on a nasty curveball in the dirt, but it got away from catcher Wil Nieves and traveled to the backstop, allowing Herrera to reach while Carp took third base.
Lee escaped the first-and-third trouble by getting Mike McCoy to ground out to Jimmy Rollins at short.
End 1st, 0-0: Jon Lester answered Cliff Lee’s perfect first inning with a 1-2-3 inning of his own.
Lester took care of Tony Gwynn Jr., Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley in the first inning. Gwynn grounded out, Rollins popped out and Utley flied out.
That might not be the only quick inning for these two hurlers, especially Lee, who works at a very brisk pace.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Cliff Lee provided five shutout innings in Saturday’s Red Sox-Phillies clash. He has a scoreless frame under his belt in this one.
Lee retired Jackie Bradley Jr., Jonny Gomes and Will Middlebrooks in order in the first inning. All three outs were of a different variety, as Bradley grounded out, Gomes struck out and Middlebrooks flied out.
Lee pounded the strike zone, per usual, and fanned Gomes with what appeared to be a backdoor cutter.
1:09 p.m.: Cliff Lee delivers a characteristic first-pitch strike.
11:54 a.m.: The Red Sox made some call-ups for Friday’s game in Clearwater.
Bryce Brentz, Deven Marrero, Sean Coyle, Scott Cousins, Shannon Wilkerson, Henry Ramos, Matty Ott and Kyle Kraus were called up. Brentz will be in Boston’s starting lineup, which can be found below.
Boston Red Sox
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jonny Gomes, LF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Bryce Brentz, RF
Mike Carp, 1B
Jonathan Herrera, SS
Mike McCoy, 2B
Jon Lester, LHP
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Marlon Byrd, RF
John Mayberry, LF
Ronny Cedeno, 3B
Wil Nieves, C
Cliff Lee, LHP
10:20 a.m. ET: Jon Lester and Cliff Lee will meet again Friday.
Lester and Lee squared off at JetBlue Park on Saturday, during which the Philadelphia Phillies took down the Boston Red Sox 4-1. Both southpaws pitched well, which isn’t all that surprising given their respective track records.
Lester is making his third start of spring training. He has given up just one earned run on three hits over seven innings while striking out nine and walking two. In other words, Lester, who is expected to be Boston’s Opening Day starter, has picked up right where he left off.
Lee, who is expected to be Philadelphia’s Opening Day starter, has a 2.63 ERA (four earned runs in 13 2/3 innings) in four spring training starts. He has struck out 13 while walking just two, and his work includes five shutout innings against the Red Sox in Saturday’s contest.
The Red Sox have lost three in a row and five of their last six. They’ll try to reverse their fortunes against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla., on Friday, and you should make it a point to stick around with NESN.com throughout the day for updates.