Lee stays in Clearwater, avoids Braves

Lee stays in Clearwater, avoids Braves

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- If Cliff Lee had made the trip to Lake Buena Vista on Monday, he would have pitched against the same Braves lineup he's likely to see in the first series of the regular season in two weeks.

Instead, he stayed behind and pitched six shutout innings in a Triple-A game against the Pirates at the Carpenter Complex. He struck out nine while allowing four hits. He didn't walk a batter and threw 80 pitches.

Lee said he wasn't sure if it mattered whom he pitched against.

"There's pros and cons," he said. "I mean, I could be able to see their weaknesses. At the same time, they could make adjustments to me. So that can go both ways. You never know."

He was pleased with his outing.

"I didn't walk anyone and they didn't score. I like both of those," he said. "I felt good. I was locating well. Used all my pitches."

Lee was sharp, but said he needs to focus on being consistent.

"Mixing in my pitches and changing locations and sequences. That's just a never-ending deal. So I'm going to continue to work on that throughout the spring and for the rest of the year and for the rest of my career," he said.

Todd Zolecki and Paul Hagen are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.