Dame fortune had her back turned on the team from Los Angeles in each of the first two games of the series. An error allowed the extra run in the 3-2 loss as Philadelphia hit a pair of cozy home runs and Ramirez boomed a 410-foot shot that went for a double in the opener.
In the afternoon game on Saturday, pitcher Brent Myers staggered the necessary five innings to get the win but was much more effective with the bat. He singled three times and knocked in three runs. Former Dodger Shane Victorino knocked in four runs and made perhaps a game-saving catch agaist the center field wall with two on in the seventh.
But in the end it was the Phillies bullpen that only a pair of harmless singled over the final four innings to clinch the win and give them a solid 2-0 lead as the playoffs move to Los Angeles Sunday night.
Kershaw finished his brief appearance having allowed eight hits and eight runs, seven earned, before leaving with one out in the third. Chan Ho Park was not effective, allowing a triple that scored the final two Phillie runs, both of which were charged to Billingsley.
The Dodgers 24-year-old 16-game winner had recorded a 12-3, 2.78 record after June 17 and had allowed one run in 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts against the Cubs in the Division Series.
One bright spot, other than Ramirez's home run, was the work of rookies James McDonald and Clayton Kershaw. McDonald worked 3.1 innings, stopping the powerful Phillies on two singles while striking out five. Kershaw pitched 1.2 innings, allowing no runs, before Cory Wade got the final out in the eighth.
James Loney was the only Dodger with more than a single hit. His double set up the first run and he singled in the second run in the third inning. Overall the Dodgers left 11 on base -- five in scoring position.
The Dodgers again got on the scoreboard first. In the second inning, Andre Ethier singled to right and Loney doubled high off the right field wall. It looked like a big inning was possible.
br> But Matt Kemp struck out on a bad pitch, Blake DeWitt bounced to second to drive in Ethier, Casey Blake was walked intentionally and Billingsley flew to right.
Billingsley looked strong as he struck out two in a scoreless first inning and fanned Pat Burrell and Jayson Werth to open the second, making it four strikeouts in the first five outs. Then the stadium fell in on him. He allowed five straight hits, including one by Phillie pitcher Brent Myers, and four runs. He finally retired the side after a horrendous 34 pitches.
L.A. bounced back with a run in the third. Martin walked and with two out so did Ethier. Loney singled to center to cut the score to 4-2. Kemp lived on an error to load the bases but DeWitt waived at a curve ball to end the threat and the Dodgers had left their sixth runner on base in three innings.
Billingsley allowed a single and a double to lead off the last of the third and intentional walk loaded the bases before a bouncer to Loney got the first out on a force out at home.
Then Myers smacked a seeing-eye single past Loney and down the right field line to drive in two more runs. Myers came into the game 4-for-58 on the season with one RBI and singled in his first two trips to the plate and had driven in three runs.
br> Chan Ho Park was called in and struck out the first Phillie he faced but Shane Victorino tripled in two more runs, his third and fourthe of the game, to make it 8-2.
Joe Beimel took over and issued Chase Utley his third walk of the game and also walked Ryan Howard to re-load the bases. Rookie James McDonald, the fourth pitcher of the inning, was called in to face Pat Burrell and McDonald recorded a strikeout in his first playoff appearance.
After one hour and forty-five minutes, the game finally moved into the fourth inning.
Doggedly, the Dodgers climbed back into the game with a bazaar fourth inning. Blake singled and Jeff Kent, taking over for DeWitt on a double switch, hit into a double play. Furcal ran his post-season record to 0-for-7 when he struck out but the pitch bounced to the backstop and he was safe at first.
Martin singled to left and Ramirez hit an inside fastball on the trademark and muscled it into the flower bed in front of the first row of left field seats. In the first game he hit one over 410 feet and got a double; this time he nubbed it for a three-run homer, cutting the margin to 8-5. The Dodgers never got any closer.
As Ramirez went into the dugout after the home run, he turned at shouted something at Myers on the mound. Myers had thrown a fastball behind Manny in the first inning, then struck him out and payback was apparently sweet for Ramirez.
In the fourth, McDonald pitched around a single, a walk and Myers third hit, an infield nubber down the third base line, to strike out Jimmy Rollins to end the inning. McDonald also got his first playoff at-bat in the top of the fifth and he hit into a force play after Matt Kemp walked.
Manager Joe Torre explained that he didn't use a pinch-hitter for McDonald because the game was in the fifth inning, "it seems like the 15th inning" he said. "I've got [Greg] Maddux and [Clayton] Kershaw but if we get back into the game we'll probably have to pinch-hit a couple times ... and you don't want your closer to be the last one available in the game."
McDonald, the Dodgers' Pitcher of the Year for the last two seasons, finished his night with 3.1 shutout innings and had kept the clud in the game.
Kemp drew a two-out walk in the seventh and Nomar Garciaparra, hitting for McDonald, singled to right field. Then Casey Blake, who had hit .195 over the final 23 regular season games with only five RBI, smashed a shot to deepest center field where Victorino, who had hurt the Dodgers with his bat, hurt them again with his glove to make a catch against the wall to end the inning. It was just another long shot that would have been a home run in Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers called on their other wunderkind, 20-year-old Clayton Kershaw, and he worked an easy 1-2-3 seventh. He also retired the first two in the eighth, then issured a walk and was replaced by Cory Wade who retired Werth on a line drive to Blake at third base.
Brad Lidge, looking for his 48th consecutive save, walked Ramirez to open the ninth. Ethier struck out but Loney drew a walk and Kemp became the tying run at the plate. Lidge then fanned Kemp and Garciparra with sliders out of the strike zone.
The Dodgers are 0-6 at Citizens Bank Park this year, swept in four games in August and the first two games of this series. The NLCS moves to Los Angeles after taking Saturday off and the Dodgers need a change of fortune to stay in the hunt. Of the 18 clubs that have jumped out to a 2-0 lead, 16 of them have won the series. Hiroki Kuroda will get the start for Los Angeles hoping to change that percentage.
Score by innings Los Angeles 011 300 000-5 Philadelphia 044 000 00x-8 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 5 1 1 1 .111 Martin c 4 2 1 0 .286 Ramirez lf 4 1 1 3 .375 Ethier rf 4 1 1 0 .375 Loney 1b 4 0 2 1 .429 Kemp cf 3 0 0 0 .143 DeWitt 2b 2 0 0 1 .000 McDonald p 0 0 0 0 .000 Garciaparra ph-3b 2 0 1 0 .500 Blake 3b 3 0 1 0 .143 Kershaw p 0 0 0 0 .000 Wade p 0 0 0 0 .000 Billingsley p 1 0 0 0 .000 Park p 0 0 0 0 .000 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Kent 2b 3 0 0 0 .000 Totals 36 5 8 5 Philadelphia 35 8 11 8 Error- Kemp (1). 2b hits- Loney (1). HR- Ramirez (1). RBI- DeWitt (2), Loney (1), Ramirez 3 (4). LOB- Los Angeles 11, Philadelphia 10 Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Billingsley (0-1) 2.1 8 8-7 3 5 27.00 Park 0.1 1 0-0 0 1 0.00 Beimel 0.0 0 0-0 2 0 -.-- McDonald 3.1 2 0-0 1 5 0.00 Kershaw 1.2 0 0-0 1 1 0.00 Wade 0.1 0 0-0 0 0 0.00 T- 3:33. Att- 45,883.Dodger Blue Notes--Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax sat one row in front of Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda behind the Dodgers dugout. Lasorda got a nice ovation when he walked up the steps during the fourth inning. ...Ramirez struck out and popped out his first two at-bats and was 3-for-21 off Myers before he connected.