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Added June 29th, 2011 by Chalk

Cliff Lee Blanks Red Sox For Third Straight Shutout

Philadelphia ace Cliff Lee became the first Phillie since 1950 to pitch three consecutive shutouts as he limited the Boston Red Sox to two hits on Tuesday night in a 5-0 win. Lee hasn’t allowed a run in 31 consecutive innings, 10 shy of the franchise record set by Grover Cleveland Alexander 100 years ago, but Lee and the Phillies aren’t trying to make too much of June accomplishments.

Lee has had a remarkable June — 5-0 with an 0.21 ERA, just one earned run allowed over 42 innings — but he’s had months nearly that good in October and still has no World Series rings to show for it. “We expect to win the World Series,” Lee said of his team. “I’m not counting the innings. I want to throw a shutout every inning, every time I go out there.

“It wasn’t playoff baseball,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “Ain’t that time yet.” And come to think of it, as good as the Red Sox have been offensively for much of the year, seeing Lee for the first time all season because of interleague play probably did help the Phillies ace.

How does Lee, who was just 4-5 with a 3.94 ERA at the end of May, explain his shutout streak and near-perfect June? “Making pitches, staying out of the heart of the strike zone, gotten lucky quite a bit,” he said.

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