Phillies in charge of series

BOB ELLIOTT, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- The pitching-rich franchise which produced Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Orel Hershiser and Fernando Valenzuela turns its lonely eyes to Vincente Padilla to avoid going to Philadelphia down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Raul Ibanez and Carlos Ruiz each hit three-run homers as the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-6 in the opener of the National League Championship Series before 56,006 fans at Dodger Stadium.

Ibanez hit a three-run homer in the eighth off George Sherrill, the first homer he surrendered to a left-handed hitter since Adam LaRoche took him deep, June 14, 2008, and Ruiz hit a three-run homer in the fifth off lefty Clayton Kershaw, who walked three and threw three wild pitches in a 33-pitch fifth inning in which he threw only 14 strikes.

"I trust this young man a lot and it just didn't work out," Torre said of Kershaw, who was the youngest Dodger post-season starter since Valenzuela. "He had a rough inning, he tried to overthrow the ball."

Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Cole Hamels, grounded weakly to third with a man on second and first base open in the seventh against Chan Ho Park who was working on 29 days rest, and did the same against Ryan Madson with two on in the eighth.

"This is a prize fight, we came up with a number of opportunities," Torre said, "but seven walks ... is a little tough to overcome."

Four of the walks scored and Kershaw's walk of Cole Hamels was erased on a grounder by Jimmy Rollins, who scored.

Despite a lead-off single in the ninth beleaguered closer Brad Lidge saved his third straight. He hasn't saved three straight games in four months.

Now, Pedro Martinez, the former Dodger farmhand, starts Game 2 for Philadelphia against Padilla, the former Phillie, this afternoon at 4:07.

Down 5-1 in the fifth the Phillies knocked out Hamels as Montrealer Russell Martin doubled, Rafael Furcal singled and Andre Ethier knocked in a run. Ramirez hit a 2-0 pitch almost out of Chavez Ravine to left and the laid-back Dodger fans were towel-waving and bouncing like they were on 56,006 individual trampolines, making it a one-run game.

The Phillies scored all eight of their runs against Dodgers left-handers.

"We try to take the approach that it doesn't matter who is on the mound," said Ibanez, after his first post-season homer. "Once post season starts it's like a new season. Everything that happened before is irrelevant."

BOB.ELLIOTT@SUNMEDIA.CA


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