CLEARWATER, Fla. — Cliff Lee keeps working out the kinks.
The Philadelphia left-hander gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Raburn in the first inning Sunday and the Detroit Tigers and Phillies tied at 4 in a split-squad exhibition. The game was called after the 10th.
Lee gave up three consecutive hits to begin the game, including Raburn’s shot. After Miguel Cabrera singled, Lee set down three straight batters, striking out two of them.
“Physically I felt fine. My location was a little off, but I threw strikes,” Lee said. “I got through it healthy. I’m building up endurance. I’m headed in the right direction.”
Lee, slowed by a minor abdominal injury at the start of spring, allowed six hits in three innings. Lee has given up two runs on eight hits in two exhibition games, spanning five innings.
“Early on you’re not worried about results, you’re more worried about feeling right, making sure you’re headed in the right direction,” Lee said. “I could definitely locate better. I feel like I will. It’s just early. I’m a little rusty with a few things but that’s normal, too.”
Detroit starter Rick Porcello went four innings and also gave up two runs on six hits.
“I was going out there trying to execute all my pitches,” Porcello said. “I was missing with my slider early on, just wasn’t getting on top of it.”
The 23-year-old Porcello, entering his fourth big league season, has allowed three runs in five innings in two games this spring.
“At this point of the year you’re trying to be consistent and sharpen everything,” Porcello said. “But the mindset is the same. I can tell you, if I go out there and get hit around, I’m not going to feel good about it. That’s just not how I think.”
Tigers star Miguel Cabrera, making the transition back to third base this spring, went 2 for 3 and is hitting .316 in seven games. Ramon Santiago went 3 for 3 and scored twice.
Raburn had two hits and drove in three runs. He is 5 for 10) in five games this spring.
“He put a solid year together last year and I think he’s at a point now where he believes that he’s big league player,” Detroit hitting coach Lloyd McClendon said. “And that’s important. I think this guy’s got a chance to put up some big numbers. And if he can put two halves together, we may have something. His confidence level is certainly at an all-time high.”
For the Phillies, bench hopeful Pete Orr went 3 for 4 with a walk and infield prospect Freddy Galvis, who made his second straight start at second base, drove in two runs.
NOTES: The Phillies’ other split squad lost 3-0 to the New York Yankees. RHP Kyle Kendrick allowed three hits in three shutout innings. Kendrick struck out two and walked none. ... Phillies 1B Jim Thome will play first base in a minor league game on Monday. Thome, who hasn’t played the position regularly since his first tour with the Phillies in 2005, will slowly work his way into major league exhibition games this spring and could start once a week during the regular season. ... Philadelphia RHP Jose Contreras is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game on Monday. He had elbow surgery before the end of the 2012 season. If he continues to progress, Contreras could be ready for opening day. ... Phillies OF Derrick Mitchell singled in the ninth inning in his first at-bat of a major league spring training game. He hit 19 home runs and stole 20 bases last year in his first Double-A season.
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