Tampa Bay Rays sweep Phillies, 3-2 and 7-3, in Sunday doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park

Posted: June 25, 2012

Antonio Bastardo had one bad inning.

Cliff Lee had two bad innings.

As a result, the Phillies suffered through one extremely bad day, and night, suffering a split-doubleheader loss Sunday to the Tampa Bay Rays at Citizens Bank Park.

Lee allowed three runs in the second inning and two in the sixth during the Phillies' 7-3 evening loss to the Rays.

After Cole Hamels had thrown seven shutout innings in Game 1, Bastardo came on in the eighth and allowed two walks and Carlos Pena's three-run home run in a 3-2 defeat.

By the end of the second game, Citizens Bank Park was almost empty, which probably made the Rays feel at home.

The Phillies are 34-40, and even the news that Chase Utley will make a rehabilitation start Tuesday with Lehigh Valley can't begin to cover all the holes the team is now showing.

They were unable to sustain the momentum of Saturday's 7-6 win over the Rays that was highlighted by Jim Thome's walk-off home run.

The Phillies haven't won more than two in a row since compiling a four-game winning streak May 23-26.

"It is hard for us right now to have a winning streak," manager Charlie Manuel said.

There is no shortage of reasons for the Phillies' struggles.

"One reason is because of our pitching," Manuel said. "At the same time, there are other areas, too."

One of the bigger mysteries is Lee, now 0-4. He will go through stretches when he's brilliant and others, well, when he isn't.

He allowed six hits, walked three, and showed flashes of his old self with nine strikeouts.

"I definitely made mistakes, and they made me pay for it," Lee said.

Tampa Bay jumped to a 3-0 second-inning lead against Lee on Sean Rodriguez's RBI double and Brooks Conrad's two-run double. Lee labored, throwing 32 pitches.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon went with pitchers by committee. Starter Cesar Ramos was lifted after pitching 22/3 hitless innings.

Reliever Wade Davis had a different outcome.

He allowed an RBI double to Placido Polanco and an RBI single to John Mayberry Jr. as the Phillies cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth.

Lee seemed to settle down until the sixth inning, when he gave up a two-run double to Conrad.

On the second run, Rodriguez crashed into catcher Brian Schneider at the plate, even though the relay throw was wide. Schneider left the game with a right-ankle sprain and was replaced by Carlos Ruiz.

It was that sort of day.

In the first game, Hamels pitched seven shutout innings, and he had to be on his game because winning pitcher David Price allowed just one run, a Jimmy Rollins homer, in seven innings.

Hamels exited after seven innings because he had thrown 111 pitches, and turned it over to the bullpen, a dicey proposition lately.

Bastardo struggled with his control, walking Elliot Johnson, the No. 8 hitter in the order, to start the eighth inning. Conrad flew out to left before Bastardo walked B.J. Upton.

That brought up Pena, a feast-or-famine hitter, who entered the game batting just .202 but had nine home runs.

Make it 10 now with the shot he drilled to right.

The Phillies' lack of depth was demonstrated in the eighth, trailing 3-2, and loading the bases with two outs. Manuel allowed Michael Martinez to bat, and he flew out to right against hard-throwing lefthander Jake McGee, the pitcher who allowed Thome's walk-off homer in the Phillies' 7-6 win on Saturday.

That one seems so long ago.

Manuel said he used Martinez, a switch hitter whose average dropped to .136 after the first game, because he was a righthanded hitter.

Juan Pierre, who would have been a more viable option despite being lefthanded, was used instead as a pinch runner for Thome, who had been intentionally walked to load the bases.

It was a day when no moves seemed to work for the Phillies.

Hamels said this is no time for finger-pointing.

"Everybody tries to compete, and sometimes it is not going to go your way," he said.

And on this day and night, that certainly was the case.


Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225 or mnarducci@phillynews.com. Follow @sjnard on Twitter.

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