PHILADELPHIA Pat Burrell, Chase Utley, and the Philadelphia Phillies had more than enough power to offset the L.A. Dodgers and Manny Ramirez in the NL championship series opener.
Utley and Burrell homered off tiring Derek Lowe in the sixth inning to back a strong performance by Cole Hamels, and the Phillies were a winner in their return to the NLCS, beating Los Angeles 3-2 Thursday night.
It feels great but you can t get too caught up in this, Burrell said. We ve got a lot of work to do.
Ramirez put the Dodgers ahead with a long RBI double in the first, just missing a two-run homer. But the Phillies big bats answered in the sixth, when Burrell hit a go-ahead solo homer after Utley s two-run shot tied it.
Game 2 is Friday in Philadelphia, with Phillies right-hander Brett Myers facing Dodgers righty and Defiance Chad Billingsley.
A lower back injury nearly sidelined Burrell in the first round against Milwaukee, and he almost was benched after going 0-for-8 in the first three games.
But manager Charlie Manuel kept Burrell in the lineup, and Burrell responded with two homers and four RBIs in the clinching win over the Brewers.
Hamels settled down after the first and wound up allowing two runs and six hits, striking out eight.
I think the guy just geared it up a notch, Burrell said.
Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless eighth, and Brad Lidge finished with a perfect ninth for his third save of the postseason. Lidge is 44-for-44 in save chances this year.
Lowe cruised through the first five innings, allowing just four singles. But the right-hander with the hard sinker couldn t make it out of the sixth.