Dodgers Squander Chances in Opening Loss

Philadelphia hung a five spot on starter Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead and the Dodgers put the tying run on base in each of the final five innings, out-hitting the Phillies 14-8 but losing an 8-6 decision in the opening game of the National League Championship Series.

After taking a 1-0 lead on James Loney's home run in the second, they cruised into the top of the fifth inning still clinging on to the slim lead. Starter Clayton Kershaw had allowed only a first-inning single, then picked the runner off base.

He had worked around walks in he third and fourth innings when he faced Raul Ibanez leading off the fifth. Ibanez singled and before Kershaw could get the first out of the inning, Philadelphia had put the first five runners on base and had three runs, courtesy of a three run home run by Carlos Ruiz, and was helped by a pair of walks and a NLCS record three wild pitches.

The Phillies added two more runs, Ryan Howard's two-run double knocking Kershaw out of the game but the Dodgers fought their way back in, scoring three of their own in the bottom of the inning on a double by Russell Martin, a single by Rafael Furcal and Manny Ramirez's two-run home run, the 29th playoff home run of his career.

They knocked Phillies starter Cole Hamel out of the game with one out in the sixth, tagging him for four runs. Hamel had not allowed the Dodgers more than two runs in any game over his previous seven starts.

Now trailing by only a run, the Dodgers loaded the bases in the sixth on opening singles by Loney and Ron Belliard and a walk to pinch-hitter Jim Thome but left them stranded.

Andre Ethier led off the seventh with a double and was still there when the inning ended thanks to the relief work of former Dodger Chan Ho Park.

Philadelphia scored three runs on George Sherrill, who had allowed only two runs in 30 appearances during he regular season, in the eighth.

Now trailing 8-4, consecutive singles by Loney, Belliard and Martin scored one run and Furcal's sac fly cut the deficit to 8-6. Ethier collected his third hit of the game to put runners on first and third but Ramirez bounced out to third base to end the inning.

They would never get closer, although Matt Kemp led off the ninth with a single. Casey Blake, who finished 0-for-5, hit into a double play before Loney fell behind 0-2 but worked a walk. With the tying run again on base, Belliard popped out to short to end the game.

L.A. out-hit the Phillies 14-8 and also left 10 on base to Philadelphia's five. The Dodgers scored three of their runs on two home runs while Philadelphia also hit two round-trippers but both were three-run shots.

Los Angeles was 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, while the Phils were an economical 3-for-5.

Loney and Ethier led the Dodgers' attack with three hits, Loney including a home run and Ethier a double. Kemp, Belliard and Martin weighed in with a pair of hits each.

The loss puts the Dodgers in a hole and pits them against the fact that the team taking a 1-0 lead in the NLCS has won 16 of 23 series, including 14 of the past 16.

The two teams turn around quickly and meet in an afternoon game today (Friday) at 1 p.m. Pacific time with each starting pitcher working against his former team.

Vincente Padilla, the feel-good story of the season, draws the start against the Phillies and he will face former Dodger Pedro Martinez who will be making his first postseason start in five years.

The 37-year-old right-hander made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 1992 and also played for Los Angeles in 1993 before he was traded to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields.

Padilla, discarded by the Texas Rangers, has been 5-0 in eight starts for the Dodgers. Manager Joe Torre said, "We certainly were hoping that he would give us a boost. But would I have dreamed at the time we got him in that deal that he was going to pitch Game 2 of the Championship Series, no, I certainly didn't envision that."
 
 Score by innings
Philadelphia	000 050 030-8
Los Angeles	010 030 020-6

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	4  0  1  0  .250
Ethier rf	5  1  3  1  .600
Ramirez lf	5  1  1  2  .200
 Broxton p	0  0  0  0  .000
Kemp cf        	5  0  2  0  .400
Blake 3b	5  0  0  0  .000
Loney 1b	4  2  3  1  .750
Belliard 2b	5  1  2  0  .400
Martin c	4  1  2  1  .500
Kershaw p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Hudson ph	1  0  0  0  .000
 Belisario p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Thome ph	0  0  0  0  .000
 Wolf pr	0  0  0  0  .000
 Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Sherrill p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Pierre ph-lf	1  0  0  0  .000
--------------------------------------------
 Totals	        39 6 14 6
 Philadelphia	32 8  8 8

 Two-base hits- Martin (1), Ethier (1).
HR- Loney (1), Ramirez (1). RBI- Loney (1),
Ethier (1), Ramirez 2 (2), Martin (1), Furcal
(1). SF- Furcal. LOB- Los Angeles 10, Philadelphia
5. RISP- Los Angeles 3-for-14, Philadelphia
3-for-5. DP- Kemp and Loney. PO- Kershaw.

 Los Angeles	in  h r-er bb so  era
Kershaw (0-1)	4.2  4  5-5  5  3  9.64
Troncoso	0.1  0  0-0  0  0  0.00
Belisario	1.0  0  0-0  0  0  0.00
Kuo        	1.0  0  0-0  0  2  0.00
Sherrill	1.0  2  3-3  2  0 27.00
Broxton	        1.0  1  0-0  0  0  0.00
 WP- Kershaw 3. T- 4:02. Att- 56,000.
Dodger Stadium Leads N.L. in Playoff Games
Dodger Stadium has become the No. 1 site for playoff games in National League history, having hosted 107 postseason games, one more than the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

The original Yankee Stadium is No. 1 with 322 postseason games, followed by Fenway Park with 146.

The first postseason game held at Dodger Stadium took place on Oct. 5, 1963, in Game 3 of the World Series. Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale pitched a three-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Yankees and the Dodgers went on to sweep the series.

First Ball Ceremonies
The Dodgers had Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Bill Russell throw out the first ball before the game. They, along with Davey Lopes, played their first game together in 1973 and became the longest-lasting infield in Major League history, breaking up after the 1981 World Series.

Lopes, now a member of the Philadelphia coaching staff declined to join in the ceremony. "If you are talking about a reunion, I am all for it," he said, "but tonight I'm a Phillie."

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