Cliff Lee, coming off three straight shutouts versus the Marlins, Cardinals and Red Sox, took the loss Sunday as the Blue Jays beat the Phillies 7-4.
Lee had his scoreless streak snapped at 34 innings when Rajai Davis tripled and then scored on a groundout in the third inning of the game. The Blue Jays went on to add single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to chip away at what had been an early 4-0 lead for the Phillies.
Suddenly, in the eighth inning, it was bombs away. Lee, who hadn’t allowed a homer in six stats since May 31, gave up three in a span of five batters. Eric Thames and Jose Bautista went back-to-back to start the frame, and Edwin Encarnacion added a two-run shot with one out.
The Blue Jays held on from there, sending Lee to his first loss since that aforementioned May 31 outing against the Nationals. He had been 5-0 since.
Lee ended up with nine strikeouts and no walks on the day, but all seven runs, six of which were earned, were charged to him. He gave up three homers in a start for the first time since allowing four in a loss to the Orioles last Aug. 21.
Bautista added to his major league lead with 27 homers. He went deep in all three games of the series against the Phillies.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.