Los Angeles at Philadelphia

W: C. Lee (2-0) L: H. Kuroda (0-1)
HR: LA - None   PHI - J. Werth (3), S. Victorino (2)

Lee dominates Dodgers, fast-starting Phillies regain NLCS lead

CBSSports.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- Cliff Lee sprinted off the mound after throwing his final pitch, nearly breaking a sweat for the first time. Heck, he almost outhustled the Phillies' newest speed demon, Ryan Howard.

Dodgers can only imagine where they would be with Lee
by Danny Knobler
What's Your Take?
Tell Danny your opinion!

With their ace and slugger leading the way, the defending World Series champions got back their swagger.

Lee dominated the Dodgers, Howard and Jayson Werth provided the big swings early and Philadelphia cruised past Los Angeles 11-0 on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NL Championship Series.

"We expect to win when we come to the ballpark, and that's kind of who they are," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Lee provided another brilliant playoff start, striking out 10 and allowing only three hits in eight innings.

Torre not managing to keep up with Manuel
by Mike Freeman
What's Your Take?
Tell Mike your opinion!

"Cliff Lee, what can I say about him? He was absolutely outstanding," Manuel said.

Howard ran hard for a triple, Werth hit a home run and the Phillies led 6-0 by the second inning. Howard made two headfirst dives during the romp -- the All-Star first baseman has an RBI in all seven of Philadelphia's playoff games this year, a record streak in a single postseason.

"He's a big-game player," Werth said. "We've got a lot of guys like that here, guys that thrive in big situations."

The Phillies came up with the most-lopsided victory in their postseason history. Joe Blanton will start Game 4 on Monday night against Randy Wolf, who hasn't pitched since the opener of the Division Series against St. Louis.

"You never want to get your rear end kicked," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "But you don't toss and turn and wonder if you made the right move. It's still only one game and we're in position to tie the series tomorrow."

The next two games in the best-of-7 series are set for Citizens Bank Park.

Howard had three RBI, including his two-run triple in the first. Werth followed that with a two-run homer, and that was more than enough for Lee.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner faced only two batters over the minimum. Lee gave up a pair of singles to Manny Ramirez and one to Ronnie Belliard.

Manuel planned to send Lee out for the ninth until he hit a single in the eighth and scored on Shane Victorino's three-run homer. Chad Durbin relieved to begin the ninth and pitched a perfect inning.

Lee is 2-0 with an 0.74 ERA in three postseason starts, giving the Phillies exactly what they expected when they acquired him from Cleveland in late July.

"I don't know if I ever doubted myself," Lee said. "I always had confidence in myself."

After wasting a brilliant performance by Pedro Martinez in Game 2, the Phillies jumped on Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda right from the start.

On a brisk 46-degree night -- almost half the temperature at Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Friday -- Philadelphia's hitters had no trouble swinging hot bats. Every starter except Raul Ibanez had a hit and all nine starters scored a run.

Victorino's home run to deep right field put an emphatic exclamation mark on the rout. The shot also let Phillies outscore the city's NFL team -- the Eagles lost 13-9 to the Oakland Raiders.

Making his first start in 20 days, Kuroda got only four outs. He allowed six runs and six hits. Dodgers manager Joe Torre chose Kuroda over Chad Billingsley even though Kuroda was unavailable for the first-round series against St. Louis because of a herniation in his cervical spine.

"They put me on the mound and I have to come through, but I didn't," Kuroda said through a translator.

A sellout crowd of 45,721 made Kuroda uncomfortable from the start. Fans waved their "Fightin' Phils" rally towels and chanted "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!" even before the first pitch was thrown.

Ramirez got an earful, too. Fans screamed "You took steroids!" before he struck out in the seventh inning.

Victorino, who exchanged words with Kuroda in the NLCS last year after a fastball buzzed his head, got things started in the first. Victorino singled with one out and stole second. Chase Utley followed with a single. Howard then ripped a liner into the right-field corner to score both runners. The 255-pound slugger chugged around the bases and dove headfirst into the third for his first career postseason triple.

"It was one of those things where I had to make up my mind," Howard said. "Once I hit second, I was going for it."

Werth made it 4-0 with a long drive that landed in the shrubs in almost straightaway center.

Carlos Ruiz started the second with a double and scored on Jimmy Rollins' one-out double that chased Kuroda. Scott Elbert came in and walked Victorino and Utley. Howard's RBI dribbler put the Phillies up 6-0. Howard slid headfirst into first on that play, too, trying to avoid the tag.

When the Phillies were in the field, all eyes were on Utley after he committed two costly throwing errors on double-play balls in the first two games. Utley bounced his first throw to first base, but Howard made the scoop. But he made a couple routine throws later and drew some cheers.


  • Howard extended his postseason streak of reaching base to 16 games.
  • Former Phillies Vicente Padilla and Randy Wolf were booed during NLCS introductions. Former shortstop and manager Larry Bowa received a mixed reaction and there was a nice ovation for former slugging first baseman Jim Thome.
  • Victorino lost his bat when it flew into the stands and hit a fan. The team didn't know of any injury.
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.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game

S. Victorino
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1

C. Lee
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 0
K 10

Related Video

Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS4000020 .304
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4010000 .304
Andre Ethier, RF3000010 .391
Manny Ramirez, LF3020011 .280
Matt Kemp, CF3000023 .192
James Loney, 1B3000012 .273
Casey Blake, 3B3000011 .182
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
Russell Martin, C3000010 .222
Hiroki Kuroda, P0000000 .000
    Scott Elbert, P0000000 .000
    Chad Billingsley, P1000010 .000
   a- Orlando Hudson, PH1000000 .000
    Ramon Troncoso, P0000000 .000
    Mark Loretta, 3B1000000 .500
a-flied out for Billingsley in the 6th
DP - Blake-Belliard-Loney
PB - Russell Martin (1)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hiroki Kuroda (L,0-1) 1.1666011 40.50
Scott Elbert 0.1000200 0.00
Chad Billingsley 3.1222230 5.40
Ramon Troncoso 2000230 0.00
Ronald Belisario 1333101 8.10
WP - Scott Elbert (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Hiroki Kuroda 39-20, Scott Elbert 11-3, Chad Billingsley 57-33, Ramon Troncoso 36-20, Ronald Belisario 28-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hiroki Kuroda 2-1, Scott Elbert 1-0, Chad Billingsley 3-4, Ramon Troncoso 1-1, Ronald Belisario 3-0
Batters Faced - Hiroki Kuroda 10, Scott Elbert 3, Chad Billingsley 14, Ramon Troncoso 7, Ronald Belisario 7
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5111010 .212
Shane Victorino, CF3223210 .345
Chase Utley, 2B4120101 .346
Ryan Howard, 1B4113101 .385
Jayson Werth, RF4112123 .250
Raul Ibanez, LF3100122 .261
    Ben Francisco, LF0000000 .000
Pedro Feliz, 3B4111001 .167
Carlos Ruiz, C3221100 .429
Cliff Lee, P3110011 .250
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
2B - Jimmy Rollins (2, Kuroda), Carlos Ruiz (1, Kuroda)
3B - Ryan Howard (1, Kuroda), Pedro Feliz (1, Billingsley)
HR - Shane Victorino (2, Belisario), Jayson Werth (3, Kuroda)
SH - Cliff Lee (2)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (1), Shane Victorino 3 (4), Ryan Howard 3 (12), Jayson Werth 2 (6), Pedro Feliz (1), Carlos Ruiz (7)
2-OUT RBI - Pedro Feliz (1), Carlos Ruiz (2)
SB - Shane Victorino (2, 2nd base off Kuroda/Martin)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Howard-Rollins
Philadelphia Phillies
Cliff Lee (W,2-0) 83000100 0.74
Chad Durbin 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 114-76, Chad Durbin 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 7-6, Chad Durbin 1-2
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 26, Chad Durbin 3
Game Information
Attendance - 45721
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 47
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom