The right approach doesn't work for Dodgers in 3-1 loss to Phillies and Cliff Lee
Ted Lilly pitched well again. Trouble was, the other guy pitched really well.
The other being Philadelphia left-hander Cliff Lee, who shut the Dodgers out through seven innings and pretty much dominated in the Phillies' 3-1 victory Monday.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly tried an all-right-handed lineup against Lee to no avail. He started Casey Blake at first for James Loney, sat Andre Ethier and batted Marcus Thames in the third spot.
Mattingly called Thames "hit or miss" against Lee, noting he had hit three home runs and struck out 15 times in 36 career at-bats.
The Dodgers made little noise against the Philly ace, but the two times they did, Thames unfortunately went the "miss" route.
The Dodgers opened the game with leadoff singles by Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles -- both now slated for the bench with the Monday roster additions of Juan Uribe and Dee Gordon.
Thames, straight off the disabled list with a strained quadriceps, promptly bounced into a double play. Matt Kemp was called out on strikes, and the Dodgers had come up empty.
The Dodgers got two-out singles from Carroll and Miles again in the fifth, and Thames struck out. Those were all the chances they got against Lee (5-5), who struck out 10 and walked one.
The Phillies didn’t fare much better against Lilly, but cashed in on their opportunity in the third.
Wilson Valdez open the bottom of the inning with a double and Lee’s bunt sacrificed him to third. Lilly, who had walked only 12 batters in 72 2/3 innings, then walked Shane Victorino on four pitches.
Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard followed with run-scoring singles.
Lilly gave up only five hits in his six innings, but three of them came in the decisive third. He walked one and struck out four, giving up two runs. It was the seventh consecutive game he went at least six innings.
The Phillies added a third run in the eighth against reliever Mike MacDougal on a pair of walks and a Carlos Ruiz double. Walks killed the Dodgers all night.
The Dodgers did manager to avoid being shut out by scratching a run together against interim Phillies closer Ryan Madson in the ninth.
Uribe led off with a single, and then Gordon -- making his major-league debut -- pinch ran. Loney, who entered the game when Blake was thrown out arguing strikes, singled and the speedy Gordon took third. Ethier pinch hit and bounced out, Gordon scoring on the play.
But Madson struck out Rod Barajas and pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro to earn his 13th save.
After two uplifting victories the past two games in Cincinnati, the Dodgers had hit a familiar wall in Philadelphia.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers first baseman Casey Blake tosses the ball to pitcher Ted Lilly, but Philadelphia's Dominic Brown was safe on the play. Credit: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images