SAN FRANCISCO -- Cliff Lee had no-hit stuff. He wasn't exactly rooting for a no-no, however. Not just yet.
"I'm kind of glad I didn't throw a no-hitter," Lee said following a fabulous debut for the Philadelphia Phillies. "If I did that the first time, I'd have to live up to some high expectations."
He spotted his fastball with precision, and his curveball, too. What a way for the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner to start his days in the National League.
Lee pitched a four-hitter, carrying a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and even adding two hits with the bat, and the Phillies felt an immediate impact two days after acquiring the left-hander from Cleveland, beating the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Friday night.
"That was a good one, huh?" Phillies reliever Tyler Walker said, chuckling at Lee's dominance. "Good trade."
He dazzled from the start for the World Series champions, tossing his 11th career complete game, fourth this season and third in four starts. Lee's line: one run, six strikeouts, two walks, 109 pitches and 78 strikes. He was done in 2 hours, 39 minutes, getting a hug from catcher Paul Bako afterward and tucking the game ball in his back pocket as a keepsake.
"Pitched pretty good, didn't he? Very good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "In his first time out with us he gives us nine innings and that's real good."
Lee didn't allow a hit until Juan Uribe doubled to the deep corner in right with one out in the sixth. His defense also was spot on, with Lee hustling forward on Edgar Renteria's eighth-inning sacrifice bunt and quickly firing to first.
Lee doubled in the eighth for his first career extra-base hit and that gave him his first multihit game -- and doubled his previous career hit total.
"I got the first hit and I was pretty pumped about that but you get a double off the wall in the opposite-field gap, I totally never expected that," Lee said.
Fittingly, it was Ben Francisco -- who also came to the Phillies from the Indians on Wednesday -- whose sacrifice fly helped Lee score his first career run.
Lee faced only two three-ball counts until the seventh on a cool night at the Giants' waterfront ballpark, where an eerie mist hovered over the field for much of the game. He had thrown only 13 balls among his first 54 pitches.
Lee, who went 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA in 22 starts for the Indians this season, won his fourth straight start dating to a loss at Detroit on July 10.
He struck out Randy Winn looking on a 93 mph fastball on his third pitch of the game and was through that inning on all of nine pitches.
"I felt comfortable. It's a loose clubhouse, everybody's nice. It was an easy transition for me," Lee said. "When I get on the field, I can just throw to the mitt and everything else is kind of irrelevant. I wasn't ever nervous or anything. I felt good about getting that first inning out of the way, getting that first guy out and putting up a zero."
Ryan Garko, Lee's teammate with Cleveland until getting dealt to the Giants on Monday, drew a 12-pitch walk in the second for San Francisco's first baserunner. Garko offered some insight on Lee to his new teammates during a hitter's meeting Thursday, telling them that Lee has been pretty much unbeatable of late.
After Garko's walk, Lee got Aaron Rowand to ground into an inning-ending double play. That was the first of 11 straight batters retired before Uribe's hit.
"This guy won a Cy Young last year," San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy said. "He was on top of his game, and when he is you have your work cut out for you."
The way Lee was going in San Francisco's pitcher-friendly ballpark, it was clear this could be a special outing.
Kevin Millwood threw the Phillies' last no-hitter on April 27, 2003, against the Giants.
"He was obviously phenomenal," Bako said of Lee. "Just catching him you get a better sense of how good Cliff really is. You can't get that sense on TV."
Werth homered just over a leaping Rowand in left-center leading off the second to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead -- and it held up this time. Philadelphia also took an early lead Thursday night but lost the series opener 7-2.
Giants rookie Ryan Sadowski (2-4) lost his fourth straight start after beginning his career 2-0 with 16 scoreless innings. He was done after four innings and 82 pitches after feeling some tightness in his shoulder and arm. He hasn't gone longer than five during his losing streak.
Rowand returned to San Francisco's lineup after missing four straight games with a torn tendon in his right forearm, which he hurt when hit with a pitch by Atlanta's Tommy Hanson on July 20. Rowand hadn't started the previous 10 games.
Newly acquired Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez, traded by Pittsburgh on Wednesday, is expected to be added to the roster Saturday and perhaps be available to pinch-hit. He's been nursing an inflamed left knee.
Lee, who is 3-0 lifetime vs. San Francisco, was 2 for 32 at the plate before Friday. For the Indians, Lee had won his last three starts with two complete games and a 1.44 ERA. ... Philadelphia All-Star CF Shane Victorino was held out of the lineup for the second straight game with a bruised left knee. The injury forced him to leave Wednesday's 4-0 loss at Arizona in the seventh inning.
Juan Soto faceplants while trying to play hockey
Juan Soto takes a fall while trying to show off his hockey skills.
Braves roster boosted by return of Jorge Soler from COVID list; Dodgers' Andy Burns replaces Justin Turner
The Dodgers and Braves both made changes to their rosters on Thursday, prior to the start of Game 5 of the NL Championship Series.
Houston Astros rookie Luis García will start Game 6 of ALCS against the Boston Red Sox
Houston Astros rookie Luis García will start Game 6 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night with a trip to the World Series on the line.
New York Yankees first-base coach Reggie Willits becomes fourth not to return to Aaron Boone's staff
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone lost a fourth member of his staff Thursday, as first-base coach and outfield instructor Reggie Willits will leave at the end of the year.
Can the Dodgers rally with Justin Turner sidelined?
Alden Gonzalez reports on Justin Turner's season-ending hamstring injury.
MLB playoffs 2021: Is this the end of the road for the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Not only is the Dodgers' season on the brink, but so is their shot at a dynasty. Will this dominant run really yield just one title before the bill comes due?