Lee pitches 6 shutout innings in Phillies win
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP)—Cliff Lee definitely looks ready for the regular season.
Scott Podsednik ended the game with a two-out solo homer in the ninth inning. He went 2 for 2.
Podsednik and Juan Pierre are competing for a roster spot. Podsednik is hitting .362 this spring while Pierre is batting .289.
“We’ll make the decision,” Manuel said. “Podsednik hits the ball a little bit harder. He gives you more juice. Pierre is on base more. He has a high on-base percentage. Both of them hit lefties OK.”
Lee allowed three hits, struck out three and walked one. The left-hander also hit for the first time this spring and doubled in his final at-bat.
The 33-year-old Lee will make one more spring start this Sunday before taking the ball in the second game of the regular season on April 7 in Pittsburgh.
“I’m pretty happy with where everything is right now,” Lee said. “One more start and then the regular season, so it’s time to get after it.”
Pirates right-hander Ryota Igarashi gave up a run and four hits in the sixth inning. Igarashi, a non-roster player in the mix for the final bullpen spot with Chris Leroux, Daniel McCutchen and Jared Hughes, has allowed runs in five of his last seven appearances this spring.
“From what I’ve seen of Igarashi, when he’s down the ball’s hard to hit,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “The balls that were high today were just a little bit elevated. We’re going to keep working with him. We’ve got to have the ball down; we’ve got to work sides of the plate. When Iggy’s down, he’s very good. When he’s up, he’s very vulnerable.”
Pittsburgh could have another spot available in the bullpen if starting pitcher Charlie Morton (hip surgery) begins the season in extended spring training. The Pirates don’t need Morton to start a game until April 15.
NOTES: The Phillies re-assigned RHPs Scott Elarton and Brian Sanches to minor league camp. Additionally, they optioned LHP Jake Diekman to minor league camp. The 25-year-old Diekman didn’t allow an earned run in five spring appearances, striking out nine while walking one in five innings. . Philadelphia reliever Justin De Fratus threw a bullpen session for the first time this spring. De Fratus complained of elbow soreness when camp began last month. He’ll throw again on Friday. … Pirates 2B Yamaico Navarro was sent back to Bradenton for X-rays on his left hand. Navarro was hit by a pitch from Kyle Kendrick in the seventh inning. . Pittsburgh 3B Pedro Alvarez’s single in the fifth inning off Lee snapped an 0-for-18 skid. Alvarez is hitting .135 (5 for 37) in 15 games this spring. . Pittsburgh RHP A.J. Burnett threw 38 pitches in a simulated game. Burnett will begin the season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery on a fractured right orbital bone on March 2.
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