Though the Cincinnati Reds swept a three-game home set from the Philadelphia Phillies last month, they didn’t do much against Cliff Lee.
Looking for a seventh consecutive victory overall and on the road, the Reds hope to get the best of Lee on Friday night.
Cincinnati (25-16) outscored Philadelphia 16-4 during the April 15-17 series, but was held scoreless by Lee (4-2, 2.86 ERA) for six innings until it managed two runs in the seventh of a 4-2 series-opening victory.
The left-hander, who lasted seven and did not factor in that decision, is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last five starts versus Cincinnati.
Lee has allowed two runs and 11 hits in 15 innings of his last two outings overall. Six of those hits came over seven scoreless innings of a 3-1 win at Arizona on Saturday.
“I just need to keep grinding and give the team a chance to win every time,” Lee said.
That could be a challenge against the Reds, who are 10-3 in May and enjoying their overall longest winning streak since a 10-game run July 19-29. They won nine straight on road that same month.
Cincinnati outscored Milwaukee and Miami 37-18 while sweeping a pair of three-game sets.
Brandon Phillips homered in the sixth inning and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the 10th of Thursday’s 5-3 win over the Marlins. Aroldis Chapman blew the save in the ninth, but the Reds scored three in the 10th.
“We wanted to win the game in nine,” Phillips said. “We could have just put our heads down, but we went with the flow.”
Phillips has batted .328 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 16 games. He’s hitting .310 (9 for 29) with four doubles and a home run against Lee.
Teammate Jay Bruce has batted .379 with eight RBIs the last seven games overall. He’s hit .484 (15 for 31) with four homers and 10 RBIs in his last eight versus Philadelphia, and 4 for his last 12 with a home run versus Lee.
Scheduled Cincinnati starter Tony Cingrani (2-0, 2.89) has not factored in the decision of his last two starts. The rookie left-hander gave up two solo homers and lasted just four innings after he threw 85 pitches in a 4-3 win over Milwaukee last Friday.
This will be his first appearance against the Phillies (19-22), whose three-game winning streak ended with a 10-4 loss to Cleveland on Wednesday.
“For some reason we seem to win a couple, get within one or two games of .500, then all of the sudden we fall back three, four, five,” manager Charlie Manuel told the Phillies’ official website. “Then we win a couple more, and we’re yo-yoing back and forth. We definitely need to put a streak together, play sound baseball and run off a six-to-10 game winning streak.”
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who drove in three runs Wednesday, is batting .381 with six RBIs in the last five contests. However, he’s 4 for 28 (.143) in his last eight versus Cincinnati.