PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 23: Brandon Gomes #47 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch in the seventh inning of interleague play against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 7-6. (Photo by Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images)
Cliff Lee entered the game with career interleague record of 17-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 32 career starts (217 IP) and a record against the Rays of 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 career starts. The Rays had Cesar Ramos, Wade Davis, Brandon Gomes, and J.P. Howell. At the end of the day it was the mosaic of Rays pitchers and the clutch hitting of Brooks Conrad that walked away with the 7-3 victory. The official scorer awarded the victory to Brandon Gomes who improves his record to 2-2 on the year. The loss went to Cliff Lee who drops to 0-4 on the year. The Rays victory capped an improbable doubleheader sweep over the Phillies who threw two tough lefties Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee against them. With the doubleheader sweep the Rays improve to 40-32 and maintain their position in 3rd place in the AL East.
The story of the game was the Rays relievers who cobbled together a solid performance. Together Cesar Ramos, Wade Davis, Brandon Gomes, and J.P. Howell combined to pitch 9 innings, allowing 3R/3ER, on 4 hits while striking out 6 and walking 6. Cesar Ramos (40 pitches) went the first 2.2 scoreless and hitless innings striking out 2 and walking 3. With a man on first and 2-out he was replaced by Wade Davis who got the final out of the 3rd inning. He wasn't sharp on the day but was able to give the Rays 2.2 innings (58 pitches) allowing 3R/3ER on 3 hits while striking out 2 and walking 2. He was relieved by Brandon Gomes (35 pitches) with a man on 3rd and 1-out in the 6th and was able to strand the runner to end the inning. He worked through the 8th inning going 2.2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit while striking out 1 and walking 1 and exited after the 8th inning for J.P. Howell. Howell worked a 1-2-3 9th inning to secure the Rays 7-3 victory throwing only 11 pitches.
The Rays offense received production from an unexpected source as Brooks Conrad led the way by going 2-3 with a walk and drove in 4 runs including a pair of 2-RBI doubles. One double gave the Rays a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning the second double came in the 6th inning and extended the lead to 5-2.
Game Highlights After The Jump
The Rays jumped on Cliff Lee for three runs in the second inning. Jeff Keppinger drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a Ben Zobrist single. Keppinger came around to score and Ben Zobrist advanced to third on a double off the bat of Sean Rodriguez that twisted Shane Victorino around. Finally, Brooks Conrad chased home Zobrist and Rodriguez with a double of his own to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.
The Phillies cut the lead to 3-2 in the 4th inning. After a leadoff walk to Hunter Pence Placido Polanco doubled to score Pence from first. John Mayberry followed with a single which scored Polanco and advanced to second after B.J. Upton failed to hit the cutoff man. Davis did not allow the Upton's mistake to be a factor and held the lead by retiring Brian Schneider and Michael Martinez on pop outs to Jeff Keppinger and Sean Rodriguez respectively and struck out Cliff Lee to end the inning.
The Rays extended their lead to 5-2 in the 6th with a two out rally which started with a walk to Sean Rodriguez who advanced to second on a single by Ben Zobrist. Both Zobrist and Rodriguez scored on a double off the wall by welcomed newcomer Brooks Conrad. When scoring Sean Rodriguez barreled into catcher Brian Scheider forcing him to exit the game.
The Phillies got a run back in the bottom of the 6th on a replay of the 4th inning. A tiring Wade Davis walked Hunter Pence to lead off the inning and he came around to score on a double by Polanco who advanced to third on the throw home. Davis was able to retire strike out Mayberry for the first out before being removed for Brandon Gomes who retired Carlos Ruiz on a pop out and Mike Fontenot on a groundout to strand the runner at 3rd and kept the score 5-3 Rays.
The Rays added two insurance runs in the top of the 8th without the benefit of a hit. B.J. Rosenberg issued walks to B.J. Upton, Ben Zobrist, and Brooks Conrad to load the bases and forced home a run by walking Jose Lobaton. Jake Diekman came in and succumbed to peer pressure by walking Brandon Gomes to force in another run and give the Rays a 7-3 lead. Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Tribune tweeted that the 5 walks drawn by the Rays in inning ties the team record.