17 Oct 2009

Phillies hold off Dodgers to take series lead

7:15 am on 17 October 2009

The Philadelphia Phillies held on for an 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a tense opening game of major league baseball's National League Championship Series.

In a rematch of last season's NLCS the World Series champion Phillies slugged two three-run homers and used clutch relief pitching to take a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Catcher Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run blast in the fifth inning, where the Phillies scored five runs, and Raul Ibanez hit another three-run homer in the eighth to give the visitors an 8-4 lead.

The Dodgers answered with two runs in the eighth, but Philadelphia reliever Ryan Madson ended the rally when Manny Ramirez hit into a ground out with a runner in scoring position before Brad Lidge pitched the ninth to seal the win.