LOS ANGELES -- A grounder off a fielder's glove. A bunt that slipped by two players. The Los Angeles Dodgers' latest postseason rally began in the weirdest, wackiest way.
Another throwing error by Chase Utley, a pinch-hit single and two walks also were part of the Dodgers' crazy eighth inning that produced a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, tying the NL championship series at one game each.
The Dodgers took the lead after Phillies pulled Pedro Martinez, who allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings. Andre Ethier drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk from rookie J.A. Happ, capping the Dodgers' third comeback win of this postseason.
"We've been doing it all year, it seems like. We're relentless. We never give up," catcher Russell Martin said. "We go out there and compete, play through 27 outs, and whatever happens, happens. But we never keep our heads down."
Game 3 in the best-of-7 series is Sunday in Philadelphia.
"We only need three more games to do something special," said Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez, who went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.
Vicente Padilla pitched brilliantly for 7 1/3 innings and the Los Angeles bullpen did the rest. Hong-Chih Kuo threw three pitches, getting two outs and the win. Jonathan Broxton worked a perfect ninth for the save.
Philadelphia wound up using five relievers in the eighth, but not Brad Lidge, who didn't get into the game.
"I don't think it will have any lasting effect on us," Martinez said. "We didn't execute. We made errors. If we hit like we normally do, I don't think the game's going to end up 2-1."
|More Phillies-Dodgers links|
Series: Dodgers 1, Phillies 1
Scott Miller's Bull Pennings
For the second time in this year's playoffs, a visiting team let a late lead slip away at Dodger Stadium. Last week, St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday's two-out error on an easy fly ball in the ninth doomed the Cardinals, who got swept by the Dodgers.
They perfected their late-inning magic during the regular season by winning 12 games in walk-offs, third best in the majors.
Martinez and Padilla dueled through seven innings in a matchup of castoffs.
Padilla allowed one run and four hits, struck out six and walked one. He exited to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 56,000, tipping his cap as he walked off.
"It's my first time playing in front of a big crowd like this in a game that's more important than I've ever pitched in my life, and I was very emotional," Padilla said through a translator.
An injury-plagued Martinez was let go by the Mets last season, while Padilla got dumped by Texas in August. He signed with the Dodgers two days later, excelled in their drive to a second consecutive NL West title and pitched well against St. Louis in the first round.
"I was very happy with the way I pitched," Padilla said. "Although we were losing, I knew that the guys were going to come back, and I think I'm more happy now because the team won."
Ethier led the Dodgers with a career-high 31 homers in the regular season, but he resisted his instincts with the bases loaded and a full count.
"Of course, you want to get the job done by swinging, but at the same time, don't be too aggressive and don't get yourself out," he said. "Donnie [hitting coach Mattingly] has been preaching to me a lot that once the playoffs start, be patient, get your pitch to hit and see it. Donnie's voice was in my head the whole time, and I guess it came in handy there."
The Dodgers were down 1-0 when Casey Blake opened the eighth with a single off the outstretched glove of third baseman Pedro Feliz. Ronnie Belliard's bunt single got past Chan Ho Park and first baseman Ryan Howard.
"The bunt was a huge play, the fact that it got by Chan Ho and it got over in no-man's-land where Howard couldn't get to it," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "It seemed like we couldn't get out of the inning."
Martin followed with a grounder to Feliz, who made a good throw to Utley. But once again, the four-time All-Star threw away the relay after making just four throwing errors in the regular season. This time, it allowed pinch-runner Juan Pierre to score the tying run from the second.
"I had plenty of time to turn it. I just didn't make the throw," Utley said. "A lot of things could have gone differently, not just that play. Chan Ho made a good pitch to get a ground ball, which was what we needed, but we couldn't turn it."
"He laid off it looked like some tough pitches away, and at 3-and-2 it's tough when your mentality is swing, swing, swing to take a pitch, and it was huge," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
Former Dodgers pitcher Park took the loss, giving up two runs and two hits in one-third of an inning.
Howard's homer in the fourth off Padilla accounted for the only run until the eighth.
The game began in 93-degree heat 16 hours after the Phillies won the series opener 8-6. The teams combined for 14 runs on 22 hits and 10 walks in that game, but offense was in short supply with Martinez and Padilla pitching.
Martinez struck out three and walked none in seven innings of his first postseason appearance since Game 3 of the 2004 World Series with Boston. The three-time Cy Young winner, who turns 38 later this month, proved ageless in the stadium where he made his major league debut with the Dodgers in September 1992.
Replacing guile with gas, Martinez only gave up singles to Martin and Kemp before turning it over to Park.
Ramirez twice got retired by good friend Martinez on weak popups.
- The Dodgers improved to 7-2 all-time in NLCS Game 2s; the Phillies dropped to 1-7.
- Martinez became the first Latin American-born pitcher to start a postseason game for the Phillies.
- Kobe Bryant caused a stir upon arriving in the middle of the fourth inning to join owner Frank McCourt and former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda in their seats behind home plate.