Lee's winless string continues as Phils fall

Lee's winless string continues as Phils fall

Lee's winless string continues as Phils fall
TORONTO -- The Phillies looked like they were on their way to securing Cliff Lee his first win of the season, but a late-inning meltdown changed everything.

Lee ran into trouble in the eighth, Jimmy Rollins committed a key error in the same frame, and a three-run lead ended up turning into a gut-wrenching, 6-5 extra-innings loss -- with the Phillies now facing the possibility of getting swept by Toronto on Sunday.

Joe Savery, the fourth Phillies pitcher of the day, walked Yunel Escobar, balked him to second, and eventually allowed him to score on Rajai Davis' walk-off single in the 10th in front of 42,070 at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.

"You see us, we keep making the same mistakes over and over," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "It goes from our defense right into our offense, too, and also the pitching. That's kind of how we play, we find a way to lose the game.

  • 142 wins
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"Solidly all around, we don't play good baseball. We've seen that quite a bit."

After Escobar advanced to third on Mike McCoy's groundout, Savery got ahead of Davis 0-2 in the count before serving up a slider that stayed over the plate. The Blue Jays left fielder drilled it into the gap in left-center to bring home Escobar.

"When you make mistakes at this level, you get burned," Manuel said about the 0-2 pitch that got too much of the strike zone.

It capped off a 15-hit performance by Toronto and was the second hit of the day by the unlikely hero.

"It's always nice when you help the team win in dramatic fashion, especially being down 0-2, odds against me," Davis said. "To help us win is key."

Philadelphia looked to have the game won after Rollins hit an opposite-field double in the eighth to put the Phillies ahead, 5-2, but Toronto erased the lead in a hurry.

Jose Bautista led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk and later advanced to third base on a single by Edwin Encarnacion. While John Mayberry Jr. threw the ball back into the infield, Encarnacion attempted to take second base. Rollins' throw went wide of the bag and sailed into right field, which allowed both Bautista and Encarnacion to score on the play.

Rollins said he was trying to bait Encarnacion into taking second and then realized he was closer than he thought. It forced him to rush the throw, which ultimately changed the dynamic of the game.

After Lee surrendered a single to Kelly Johnson in the following at-bat, he was removed for reliever Chad Qualls, who allowed the inherited runner to score on a J.P. Arencibia double down the left-field line to even the game at 5.

Manuel said he would have turned to closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was warming up, to collect a four-out save, but Toronto's eighth-inning rally squashed that idea. He preferred to keep Papelbon back in the event they re-took the lead.

Lee wasn't his sharpest, but looked like he was going to earn his first victory since Sept. 26 against the Braves before things unraveled in the eighth.

The left-hander allowed a season-high 12 hits and matched a season-high by surrendering five runs, while walking one and striking out three over seven-plus innings.

In the early parts of the game, he did a good job of battling out of jams, but ended the game winless over his first 11 starts.

"I can only control what I can control," Lee said. "I'm not going to get frustrated. Obviously, I would like to have more wins and would like us to win more, period. But what's the point in getting frustrated about it? All I can do is control what I can control, make pitches and that's it.

"It's really simple, it's not really complicated."

Lee felt strong throughout the game and thought he made some good pitches that Toronto's hitters capitalized on. He felt like they were aggressive from the start, knowing that he was going to be around the strike zone all day.

As for the eighth inning, the former Cy Young Award winner took responsibility for what transpired.

"I'm disappointed I walked Bautista to lead off that inning," Lee said. "Basically, let them back in it there. Looking back, I wish I could have that at-bat back. I would rather almost give up a home run there than walk him. It is what it is. They got a lot of hits, they are a good offense."

Lee was given an early lead to work with, as the Phillies got to Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero in the first and again in the third.

Hunter Pence hit a run-scoring double in the first that scored Placido Polanco to put the Phillies ahead, 1-0.

After failing to deliver on a bases-loaded opportunity in the second -- and then watching Toronto tie the game on an Escobar solo homer in the bottom half of the frame -- the Phillies didn't squander a third-inning rally.

Shane Victorino and Ty Wigginton hit consecutive two-out singles before Mayberry Jr. cashed them in with a three-run shot to left field, his fourth homer of the season, to give Philadelphia a 4-1 lead.

The Phillies recorded four runs on seven hits off Romero and chased him from the game after six innings, but could only muster one run on two hits off Toronto's bullpen.

"Make adjustments, learn, definitely that's part of it," said Rollins when asked how the Phillies can turn things around. "[Play] fundamental baseball. ... It's like right now, the exact opposite. It's almost like a hex or something."

The loss dropped the Phillies to 4-11 in June and five games under .500.

Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.