BOSTON — Not much has gone right for the Philadelphia Phillies this season. Injuries and shaky performances by key players have added up to the team failing to get over the .500 mark even once through almost two full months.
However, Cliff Lee is not the problem.
The left-hander moved his record to 6-2 Tuesday night, throwing four-hit ball over eight innings to lead the Phillies to a 3-1 win over the Boston Red Sox.
It was the second game of Boston’s two-game home portion of this week’s four-game series between the teams. The clubs meet in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Sox (32-21), who started play a game ahead of the New York Yankees for the American League East lead.
Lee recorded his fifth straight quality start, a span that’s seen him go 4-0 and allow just five runs in 39 innings. He gave up one run on four singles, only two after the first inning, walking none and striking out eight.
Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon entered to heavy boos (he was cheered after a tribute video was shown Monday) for his first game at Fenway Park since he left as a free agent after the 2011 season. He worked a perfect ninth for his 10th save in as many chances this year, his 16th in a row dating back to 2012. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 17 games.
Michael Young (No. 2) homered in the first inning, and the Phillies (25-27) came through with the go-ahead run against hard-luck loser Ryan Dempster (2-6) on an RBI single by Erik Kratz in the seventh inning. Domonic Brown homered leading off the ninth, his 11th of the year and second in as many nights.
Dustin Pedroia drove home the tying run in the first inning before the Boston bats went quiet.
Dempster, who had thrown 212 pitches and walked 10 in 7 2/3 innings over his previous two starts, pitched well enough to win but still fell to 0-4 in five starts since his last win May 2. He allowed two runs in seven innings.
Young, who hit in some hard luck Monday night in running his futility streak to 0-for-22, hit the second pitch of his first career at-bat against Dempster on a serious line over the wall in left with one out in the first.
Buchholz gets OK to pitch Friday
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz will be back on the mound Friday to face the New York Yankees.
Buchholz, 28, missed his start on Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies because of minor irritation in his collarbone area.
After an examination by doctors found no structural damage, the right-hander was cleared to pitch. He has been throwing this week.
In 10 outings this season, Buchholz is 7-0 with 1.73 ERA and 73 strikeouts. The Red Sox are 9-1 in the games that he has started.
Buchholz’s opponent on Friday is expected to be Yankees left-hander C.C. .Sabathia.
NOTES: Philadelphia setup man Mike Adams’ eighth-inning appearance Monday night, his first in 17 days because of a back injury, came on a night he was originally supposed to be throwing a rehab stint in the minors. He threw 30 pitches, walking the last three batters he faced in a game that left the Phillies bullpen strapped for Tuesday. … The Red Sox, as expected, activated LHP Franklin Morales (back) from the disabled list, sending Monday night’s winner, RHP Alfredo Aceves, back to Triple-A Pawtucket. Morales was available to back up Dempster on Tuesday. … Brown was named National League player of the week for the May 20-26 period. … X-rays on Revere’s left elbow were negative after he crashed into a center field wall grating Monday. … Boston RHP John Lackey, who hasn’t allowed an earned run and has yielded just three hits over his last two starts, looks to continue his comeback from Tommy John surgery when he faces RHP Kyle Kendrick as the four-game “series” moves to Philadelphia on Wednesday. Kendrick is 58-42 against all other teams but is 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA in four outings (two starts) against Boston. … Pedro Martinez, now a Red Sox special assistant to the GM, was in uniform shagging flies before the game. He was involved in the first-pitch ceremony that honored Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman, who helped identify the bombers, and Carlos Arrendondo, the “man in the cowboy hat” who went to the aid of Bauman and others. Bauman, who lost his legs in the blast, threw a strike from his wheelchair.