The Phillies crowd wasn’t happy to see Cliff Lee pulled one out away from his first complete game since 2011, but it was job well done for the left-hander, who moved to 2-0 after holding the Mets to three runs — two earned — in 8 2/3 innings.
Lee last year didn’t get his first win until his 14th start on July 4. His second win came in his 19th start on July 31.
Michael Young had the biggest day for the Philadelphia offense, missing a cycle by a double. Ryan Howard and Young hit back-to-back homers in the third, while John Mayberry Jr. followed with a third homer just two batters later.
Starter Dillon Gee gave up all of the homers. He surrendered seven runs in three innings for the Mets.
With Lee’s removal, there remains just one complete game in the majors this season, that a shutout thrown by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw against the Giants on Opening Day.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.