Boston (42-30) at Philadelphia (39-35)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 92° F
  • Game info: 1:15 pm EDT Sat Jun 25, 2005
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Matt Clement is one of the biggest reasons the Boston Red Sox are in first place.

The right-hander will try for his third straight victory since his lone loss of the season when the AL East-leading Red Sox continue their interleague series with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Signed this past offseason to help fill the rotation spots of departed free agents Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, Clement has more than lived up to expectations. He won his first six decisions, suffered a 9-2 loss at St. Louis on June 7, and has since bounced back to win consecutive outings, including last Sunday’s 8-0 victory over Pittsburgh.

Clement scattered three hits over seven brilliant innings, struck out a season-high nine for a second straight start and walked just one. With Curt Schilling on the disabled list with a right ankle injury, Clement has emerged as Boston’s staff ace, leading the team with eight wins, a 3.48 ERA, 78 strikeouts and 95 2-3 innings.

The Red Sox have won 11 of Clement’s 15 starts this year.

Boston jumped a half-game in front of Baltimore in the East after opening the series with an 8-0 victory Friday. Tim Wakefield baffled the Phillies for eight innings and Manny Ramirez and Doug Mirabelli each hit three-run homers for the defending world champions, who have won five straight and 10 of 11.

David Ortiz added a two-run blast for Boston, which could be getting Schilling back in the rotation soon. The hard-throwing right-hander, who has been sidelined since April 24, pitched in a simulated game, and will start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday.

The Phillies have dropped two straight and five of their last six games. They are 1-3 on their six-game homestand.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Clement Tor vs. V. Padilla Bos
13-6 Record 9-12
4.57 ERA 4.71
146 K 103
68 BB 74
1.36 WHIP 1.50