Phillies manager Charlie Manuel couldn’t resist bringing in Jonathan Papelbon to face his former team, even though Cliff Lee needed just 95 pitches to shut the Boston Red Sox down for most of the first eight innings.
”Kind of wanted to see it, if you want to know the truth,” Manuel said after the former Red Sox closer finished off the 3-1 victory over Boston on Tuesday night. ”Pap likes drama. Might as well like it with him.”
Lee pitched eight innings of four-hit ball but gave way in the ninth to Papelbon, who earned his first save at Fenway Park as a Red Sox opponent. Papelbon, who helped Boston win the 2007 World Series, entered to boos then retired the Red Sox in order for his 10th save of the season.
”I wanted to (finish),” said Lee, who retired 22 of the next 23 batters after allowing a first-inning run. ”Pap’s been throwing the ball really well so it’s hard to argue with him coming in right there, especially being back in Boston. That was big to get us the win, and I’m sure he wanted that opportunity.”
Lee (6-2) struck out eight to match his season high and walked none to win his fourth consecutive decision. Michael Young and Domonic Brown homered for the Phillies, and Erik Kratz singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning to snap Boston’s four-game winning streak.
Ryan Dempster (2-6) allowed two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out four in seven innings for Boston.
The Red Sox closer from 2005 until he left as a free agent in ’11, Papelbon was honored with a scoreboard video at Monday’s game, but he didn’t pitch in the series opener because Boston won 9-3. He entered on Tuesday night to a chorus of boos and without the theme song ”Shipping up to Boston” he used for much of his career here.
”That’s how they love you in this city, man,” Papelbon said. ”That’s just how it is. It’s the atmosphere in this city. I’ve always enjoyed playing in this city and pitching off that mound. It really felt like old times.”
He retired the Red Sox in order, pumping his fist in celebration after getting David Ortiz on a grounder to the right side of the shifted infield to end the game.
”I loved it,” Papelbon said. ”I would say it was more fun than strange. It’s a little like playing against your brother in the backyard. For me, those guys are some of my best friends in this world.”
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who grounded out for the second out in the ninth, said it was strange to see Papelbon in a Phillies uniform.
Otherwise, his old friend looked the same.
”I know everyone thinks he’s insane, but he’s a pretty intelligent pitcher,” Pedroia said. ”Pap’s always going to be like family to me. We’ve been through a lot together. He did great things here. I hope he does bad for the next couple games (against the Red Sox) and then saves every game for the rest of his life.”
That was all the support Lee needed on a night when he again helped the Phillies stop a losing streak. Philadelphia had lost two straight, including the opener of the two-game interleague series.
Lee is 5-1 this season in eight starts following a Phillies loss. The teams now head to Philadelphia for a two-game series at Citizens Bank Park.
Young cleared the Green Monster in the top of the first, but the Red Sox tied it when Jacoby Ellsbury led off the bottom half with a single, stole second and then scored on Pedroia’s single.
Both pitchers settled down, and it was still 1-all when John Mayberry Jr. singled to lead off the seventh, Freddy Galvis bunted him to second and Kratz singled him home.
Meanwhile, the only baserunner Lee allowed from the first inning to the eighth was Daniel Nava on a leadoff single in the fifth. Ortiz did make a 415-foot out in the fourth when Ben Revere chased down his deep fly ball in Fenway’s center field triangle; he also hit a high fly just to the foul side of the Pesky Pole in the ninth against Papelbon.
Notes: Lee has not issued a walk in 77 of 291 career starts. … Dempster needed 60 pitches to get through four innings and left after throwing 98 in all. … Ryan Howard struck out swinging in each of his first two at-bats. He singled through the shift in the sixth inning to put runners on first and second with one out, but Delmon Young and Brown each flied out to right field. … The Red Sox activated LHP Franklin Morales from the disabled list and optioned Alfredo Aceves, Monday’s winner, to Triple-A Pawtucket. … Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman and his rescuer, Carlos Arredondo, took part in the first pitch ceremony.