PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cliff Lee’s one mistake was enough to waste his stellar performance.
Julio Teheran pitched a three-hitter, Evan Gattis homered among a career-best four hits, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 Wednesday night.
Lee (2-2) struck out 13 and pitched around 11 hits, throwing a career-high 128 pitches in his 29th career complete game. He gave up a homer to Gattis on an 0-2 pitch in the fourth.
“I tried to elevate a fastball and he had just hit a foul the previous pitch in the same spot,” Lee said. “I made a bad pitch. I have to be better than that. Should’ve thrown it in a different location.”
Lee, a prolific strike-thrower, often gets hurt on 0-2 pitches. He entered the game with five hits allowed, including two doubles, among a dozen 0-2 pitches.
“He attacks the hitters, he’s real aggressive and he’s around the plate,” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said.
Teheran (3-1) retired his first 12 batters before Ryan Howard led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield single. The 23-year-old righty struck out four and got 14 outs on flyballs in his first complete game in 38 career starts. He became the ninth Braves starter in the first 14 games this year to allow one run or none.
Gattis connected for his fifth homer in his last three games at Citizens Bank Park. His shot barely cleared the left-field fence.
The Phillies bailed Lee out in the season opener. He allowed eight runs in five innings in Texas, but earned the win in a 14-10 game. They’ve scored four runs combined in his last three starts.
“I assume we’re going to hit and score runs,” Lee said. “Occasionally, you run into a pitcher that’s on top of what he’s doing, like tonight, and he shut us out, and that’s part of the game. Looking back on it, I made a mistake on the one pitch that cost me a run, and that’s my fault. I’ve got to do a better job than that on an 0-2 count, but other than that, I’m happy with the way I pitched, but I’d rather give up three or four runs and us get the win, but it didn’t happen that way.”
After the slow-footed Howard reached on a slow roller toward second base that was fielded by shifted third baseman Chris Johnson, Teheran retired his next 11 batters before Carlos Ruiz lined a single to left with two outs in the eighth. Jimmy Rollins hit a single with two outs in the ninth.
Rollins stole second on a 3-0 pitch to Chase Utley. But Utley following with a game-ending groundout.
Pitchers had the advantage against bundled-up hitters on a chilly night. The temperature was only 47 degrees at first pitch.
The series resumed after Tuesday night’s rainout, which will be made up in June. The Braves rallied for a 9-6 win Monday night when Dan Uggla hit a ninth-inning grand slam off fill-in closer Jake Diekman.
NOTES: Utley was 0 for 4, ending his 11-game hitting streak. … Lee has 29 career double-digit strikeout games. … The Phillies signed LHP Adam Loewen to a minor league contract and assigned him to extended spring training. Loewen spent the last five seasons playing first base and outfield in the minors. … LHP Cole Hamels is moving closer to returning to Philadelphia’s rotation next week. Hamels was slowed by a shoulder problem in spring training. … A.J. Burnett (0-1) tries for the fourth time to win his first game with the Phillies in Thursday afternoon’s series finale. LHP Alex Wood (2-1) goes for the Braves.