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Philadelphia at Los Angeles

W: C. Hamels (1-1) L: C. Kershaw (0-1)
S: B. Lidge (3)
HR: PHI - C. Ruiz (1), R. Ibanez (1)   LA - J. Loney (1), M. Ramirez (1)

Three-run blasts help Phillies defeat Dodgers in NLCS opener

CBSSports.com wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- Brad Lidge has regained that nasty slider. Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz are stroking big hits. Cole Hamels is winning postseason games without his best stuff.

Park turns back clock -- and Dodgers -- in return to Chavez Ravine
by Scott Miller
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Boy, this is looking real familiar for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Ruiz and Raul Ibanez hit three-run homers, reliever Ryan Madson retired a key out and Lidge finished off the Phillies' 8-6 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.

"We do have the talent and just that sort of fight, that we're going to do everything we can to get those big hits in those big moments," Hamels said. "Our offense is really what's setting the tone."

Philadelphia took a 2-0 lead in last year's best-of-7 NLCS, beat the Dodgers in five games and went on to win the World Series.

"Well, they had our number today," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said. "Tomorrow is a different day, and last year is over with."

Manny Ramirez homered, but grounded out weakly with two runners on against a struggling Madson to end the Dodgers' two-run rally in the eighth. Their 14 hits set a club record in a single LCS game, but they stranded 10 runners.

"It's like a prize fight; we just came up a little short," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

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Lidge worked around a single and a walk in the ninth, helped by a double play that made him for 3 for 3 in save chances this postseason -- he posted three saves against the Dodgers in last year's NLCS.

Lidge was perfect in save tries all last year, but led the majors with 11 blown opportunities this season.

"The Dodgers are a great team. They come from behind a lot so you take everyone seriously," he said. "Honestly, for some reason I've really been locked in this postseason. I felt really good mechanically. I feel like myself. I feel pretty comfortable right now."

Home runs dominated on both sides in a game that lasted 4 hours, 2 minutes. Ruiz highlighted a five-run burst in the fifth and Ibanez homered in the eighth for an 8-4 lead as the Dodgers failed to neutralize the Phillies' left-handed hitting.

"The Dodgers aren't going to back down. We know they're going to come in waves and continue to fight, and that's what they did," Howard said. "We just needed that one big hit to kind of get us over the hump, and Carlos came through. We got guys on, and guys came through when we needed big hits."

James Loney also connected for the Dodgers. Ramirez, baseball's all-time postseason home run leader with 29, hit a two-run shot.

Los Angeles will start Vicente Padilla against Philadelphia's Pedro Martinez on Friday afternoon in Game 2.

Hamels thrived under pressure last October, earning NLCS and World Series MVP honors. But the left-hander hardly resembled the same pitcher in earning the victory, giving up a postseason career-high eight hits and two home runs. He yielded four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

It was his first outing since he left the ballpark in the Division Series against Colorado to be with his wife as she prepared to give birth.

"It doesn't look good on paper, but there were a lot of times where the counts were in my favor and I kept them off-balance," Hamels said. "Unfortunately, some of the results weren't there, but in the key situations, I was able to get what I needed."

At 21 years and 211 days, Clayton Kershaw was the youngest pitcher ever to start a Game 1 in a League Championship Series, and it showed.

The Dodgers lefty was tagged for five runs in the fifth, when he set a LCS record for most wild pitches in an inning with three. He also tied the record for most wild pitches in a LCS game, shared by Tommy John and Juan Guzman.

"The first four innings I felt great, and then I couldn't make adjustments fast enough. In the playoffs, you're not going to have a lot of leverage. If you don't make your pitches, before long you're out of there," he said.

"I just got out of the strike zone a little bit, and that's what happens. They make you pay for that."

Kershaw surrendered four hits in 4 2/3 innings and walked five in his second postseason career start. He worked out of the bullpen in last year's NLCS, which the Dodgers lost 4-1 to the Phillies. He was 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA in two starts against them during the regular season.

"It looked like he tried to overthrow the ball, got frustrated out there. Unfortunately, it got away from him quickly," Torre said. "As far as the pressure of the game, he certainly can handle it, but sometimes things get away from you."

The Dodgers' usually solid bullpen couldn't contain the Phils. George Sherrill, their fourth reliever of the game, gave up Ibanez's home run on the first pitch, the first homer off him by a left-handed hitter this year. Howard and Jayson Werth drew back-to-back walks to open the eighth.

"I was trying not to do too much, stroke a line drive," Ibanez said. "Fortunately, I got it in the air and it carried out of the park."

The Dodgers got two runs back in the bottom half on Martin's RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Rafael Furcal. They had the tying runs at first and third with two outs, but Madson won a showdown when Ramirez grounded to third.

Kershaw retired five of the previous six batters he faced before the Phillies got to him. Ibanez led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch before Kershaw walked Pedro Feliz. Ruiz sent a 2-1 pitch into the "Mannywood" section in left field for a 3-1 lead.

Jimmy Rollins reached on a fielder's choice, then advanced two bases on back-to-back wild pitches. Chase Utley walked and Howard hit a two-run double, extending the Phillies' lead to 5-1. Howard passed Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt with his 17th postseason RBI, the most in Phillies history.

The Dodgers closed within 5-4 with three runs in the bottom half. Ramirez hit his first home run since Sept. 18, a drive into the left-field pavilion off Hamels. Martin, who led off with a double, scored on Andre Ethier's grounder.

Ramirez's RBI gave him 78 in his postseason career. He trails only Bernie Williams (80) in postseason history.

Los Angeles threatened in the sixth, loading the bases on back-to-back singles by Loney and Ronnie Belliard off Hamels and a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Jim Thome by J.A. Happ. But Happ retired Furcal on a grounder to end the inning.

Loney recorded his first RBI of this postseason when he drove Hamels' 2-1 pitch just over the right-field fence leading off the second, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.


  • The Dodgers have lost Game 1 of the NLCS in each of their past three appearances.
  • The last lefty to go deep off Sherrill had been Pittsburgh's Adam LaRoche on June 14, 2008.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Philly's Carlos Ruiz turns on a Clayton Kershaw pitch for a three-run homer and 5-1 lead in the fifth.
Philly's Carlos Ruiz turns on a Clayton Kershaw pitch for a three-run homer and 5-1 lead in the fifth. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

J. Loney
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1

R. Ibanez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Jimmy Rollins, SS5110002 .250
Shane Victorino, CF5020011 .364
Chase Utley, 2B4100113 .333
Ryan Howard, 1B3112211 .368
Jayson Werth, RF3100112 .294
Raul Ibanez, LF4223010 .353
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Pedro Feliz, 3B3100100 .176
Carlos Ruiz, C3123100 .375
Cole Hamels, P0000100 .000
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
    J.A. Happ, P0000000 .000
   a- Miguel Cairo, PH1000010 .000
    Antonio Bastardo, P0000000 .000
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   b- Ben Francisco, PH-LF1000001 .000
a-struck out for Happ in the 7th
b-flied out for Park in the 8th
2B - Ryan Howard (4, Kershaw)
HR - Raul Ibanez (1, Sherrill), Carlos Ruiz (1, Kershaw)
SH - Cole Hamels (1)
RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (8), Raul Ibanez 3 (8), Carlos Ruiz 3 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Howard 2 (4)
CS - Shane Victorino (1, 2nd base by Kershaw/Martin)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Utley-Rollins-Howard
E - Chase Utley (1, Throwing)
Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels (W,1-1) 5.1844142 6.97
Chad Durbin (H,1) 0.1000000 0.00
J.A. Happ (H,1) 0.1000100 8.10
Antonio Bastardo0100000 0.00
Chan Ho Park (H,1) 1000010 0.00
Ryan Madson 1422000 7.36
Brad Lidge (S,3) 1100100 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Cole Hamels 106-69, Chad Durbin 4-3, J.A. Happ 11-4, Antonio Bastardo 4-3, Chan Ho Park 15-9, Ryan Madson 31-19, Brad Lidge 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole Hamels 5-7, J.A. Happ 1-0, Chan Ho Park 2-0, Ryan Madson 2-1, Brad Lidge 1-1
Batters Faced - Cole Hamels 25, Chad Durbin 1, J.A. Happ 2, Antonio Bastardo 1, Chan Ho Park 3, Ryan Madson 7, Brad Lidge 4
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS4011004 .438
Andre Ethier, RF5131010 .529
Manny Ramirez, LF5112014 .278
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
Matt Kemp, CF5020011 .211
Casey Blake, 3B5000014 .188
James Loney, 1B4231100 .375
Ronnie Belliard, 2B5120001 .313
Russell Martin, C4121002 .231
Clayton Kershaw, P0000100 .000
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
   a- Orlando Hudson, PH1000011 .000
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
   b- Jim Thome, PH0000100 .000
    Randy Wolf, PR0000000 .000
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
    George Sherrill, P0000000 .000
   c- Juan Pierre, PH-LF1000001 .000
a-struck out for Troncoso in the 5th
b-walked for Belisario in the 6th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Sherrill in the 8th
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HR - Manny Ramirez (1, Hamels), James Loney (1, Hamels)
SF - Rafael Furcal (2)
RBI - Rafael Furcal (3), Andre Ethier (4), Manny Ramirez 2 (4), James Loney (1), Russell Martin (2)
2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez 2 (4)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Matt Kemp 1
DP - Kemp-Loney
Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw (L,0-1) 4.2455531 5.56
Ramon Troncoso 0.1000000 0.00
Ronald Belisario 1000000 0.00
Hong-Chih Kuo 1100020 0.00
George Sherrill 1233201 10.80
Jonathan Broxton 1100010 1.93
WP - Clayton Kershaw 3 (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Clayton Kershaw 89-48, Ramon Troncoso 3-2, Ronald Belisario 8-7, Hong-Chih Kuo 17-11, George Sherrill 21-9, Jonathan Broxton 20-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Clayton Kershaw 3-7, Ronald Belisario 3-0, Hong-Chih Kuo 1-0
Batters Faced - Clayton Kershaw 22, Ramon Troncoso 1, Ronald Belisario 3, Hong-Chih Kuo 4, George Sherrill 6, Jonathan Broxton 4
Game Information
Attendance - 56000
Game Time - 4:02
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Sam Holbrook, Third Base - Ted Barrett