Baseball Roundup: Victorino Slugs Ninth Homer
By Fred Guzman
Shane Victorino slugged a two-run homer – his ninth of the season — in support of the masterful Cliff Lee as the Philadelphia Phillies blanked the Boston Red Sox 5-0 yesterday in the opener of a three-game inter-league clash that is being hyped as a potential preview of the World Series.
Lee tossed a two-hitter for his third straight shutout, improving his season record to 9-5 while the Phillies upped their major-league best mark to 50-30. Lee became just the fifth pitcher to go 5-0 with an ERA of 0.21 or better in a calendar month since the end of World War II.
Victorino homered to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Phillies maintained their 4.5-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. Boston, meantime, dropped 1.5 games back of the New York Yankees in the American League East.
Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki went 0-for-2 but was on the receiving end of an equally brilliant outing by Gio Gonzalez, who limited the Florida Marlins to one hit over eight innings in a rain-delayed 1-0 victory. The win was particularly sweet for Gonzalez, who was born and raised in the Miami area.
The A’s are last in the four-team AL West, trailing the division-leading Texas Rangers by six games.