Cliff Lee makes quick work of Nationals

The Phillies' Ben Revere bunts for a hit in the sixth inning. He scored on Michael Young's double.
The Phillies' Ben Revere bunts for a hit in the sixth inning. He scored on Michael Young's double. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 20, 2013

Tuesday night's game with the Washington Nationals was delayed by rain for an hour and 10 minutes. Phillies lefthander Cliff Lee pitched as if he were making up for lost time.

He's hoping the Phillies do the same in the remainder of the season.

Working quickly and efficiently, Lee struck out nine and walked none in a 4-2 victory at Citizens Bank Park.

Now 9-2 with a 2.53 ERA, Lee went eight innings, allowing two earned runs and five hits. He threw 110 pitches, 82 for strikes.

Lee has surrendered two or fewer earned runs in 10 of his 15 starts.

"I was locating my fastball, mixing in change-ups and cutters here and there," Lee said. "For the most part it was locating my fastball and trying to stay out of hitter-friendly counts."

The Phillies are 35-37 and have won two in a row over Washington.

Lee was backed by Michael Young, who hit three doubles in a game for the second time in his career, and Kevin Frandsen, who hit a key two-run single in a three-run sixth inning.

Young, like many of his teammates, appears to be settling in and playing more relaxed.

"Sometimes you don't find holes and you get into a bad rhythm, and a lot of us were guilty of pushing the gas pedal too hard," Young said. "When you are scuffling, that is generally the case."

This was the first game back for catcher Carlos Ruiz, on the disabled list since May 21 with a right hamstring strain. Ruiz went 1 for 3.

Ruiz got a hit in his first at-bat when former Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth just missed making a sliding catch in right field.

Werth lined a solo home run to left field for the game's first run in the fourth inning. He hit a first-pitch, 87-m.p.h. cutter that didn't take long to reach the seats.

It was the first home run surrendered by Lee since May 17, when he allowed one in a 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Phillies got even in the fourth. Young led off with a double to left-center, advanced to third on Jimmy Rollins' sacrifice bunt, and scored on Ryan Howard's sacrifice fly to right.

That was Howard's 957th career RBI, tying him with Sam Thompson for fifth on the all-time Phillies list. Lee tried to help his own cause with a two-out single in the fifth, but the less-than-fleet Delmon Young, who was running from second, was gunned out at home by centerfielder Denard Span.

The Phillies broke the tie with three runs in the sixth. Ben Revere led off with a bunt single. Michael Young, on a full count with Revere running, got enough of his bat on the ball to poke it to right field for an RBI double. Rollins singled, putting runners on the corners. Howard was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

After starter Ross Detwiler struck out Domonic Brown and Delmon Young, Frandsen hit a two-run single to left.

Lee allowed a pinch-hit home run to Jeff Kobernus in the eighth.

Jonathan Papelbon, who blew his first save but got the win in Monday's 5-4 victory, pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 14th save.

Contact Marc Narducci at Follow @sjnard on Twitter.

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