for this game

Lee carries amazing streak into Toronto

Jul 3, 2011 - 2:37 PM (Sports Network) - Approaching a couple of team records, Cliff Lee aims to continue his shutout streak this afternoon when he takes the mound for the Phillies, hoping to help his team to a three-game sweep in Toronto.

Already the first Phillie to throw three consecutive shutouts since Robin Roberts in 1950, the crafty lefty can tie the Phillies record today. Grover Alexander threw four consecutive shutouts during the 1911 season. Lee's 32 straight shutout innings are already fifth-best in club history.

There hasn't been four straight shutouts thrown by one pitcher since the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser had five in a row in 1988.

Opposing offenses have struggled to find hits against Lee. He's thrown two-hit shutouts in two of the last three games, those coming against Boston on Tuesday and vs. Florida on June 16. In between those, he limited St. Louis to six hits in another shutout.

All told, Lee has surrendered just one earned run over his last five outings a span of 42 innings, which has lowered his ERA to 2.66 this season. He hasn't lost since May 31 at Washington. Lee is 2-4 with a 3.81 ERA in nine lifetime starts against the Blue Jays.

On the other side will be Jo-Jo Reyes, who tries to stop a two-start losing streak. The southpaw was lifted after giving up nine hits and six runs over 3 2/3 innings of a defeat to the Pirates on Tuesday. In his career, right-handed batters have hit for a .312 mark. He's 0-3 with a 6.99 ERA in six games (4 starts) vs. the Phillies.

Roy Halladay beat his former team on Saturday in Philadelphia's 5-3 win. Chase Utley hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning.

After spending his first dozen big league seasons in Toronto, Halladay was dealt to the Phillies in December 2009, and in his first game back the crowd of 44,078 gave the two-time Cy Young Award winner a standing ovation.

When the welcoming ceased, Halladay (11-3) went to work, scattering three runs on eight hits and a walk while fanning eight en route to his second straight complete game and sixth of the season.

"They've been great to me here, the organization and the fans. To come back and have them recognize you ... it was great," Halladay said stoically. "It was a cool experience, something I will never forget. I definitely appreciate it."

The Phillies have won five of their last six, while Toronto has dropped three in a row, including the opener of this three-game interleague set on Friday.

Jose Bautista hit his 26th homer of the season in defeat for the frustrated Blue Jays. Reliever Jon Rauch and manager John Farrell were both ejected after Utley scored on Shane Victorino's single in the ninth inning.

Philadelphia won two of three matchups with the Jays last season and is 6-1 in the previous seven contests in this series.






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