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Page last updated at 06:42 GMT, Thursday, 23 October 2008 07:42 UK

Phillies win World Series opener

Brad Lidge and Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate their win
Brad Lidge and Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate their win

Philadelphia struck the first blow of the 104th World Series by beating Tampa Bay 3-2 in the opening game of seven.

The visiting Phillies had Chase Utley to thank for a two-run homer in the first inning which silenced the crowd.

Cole Hamels then pitched seven innings, striking out five batters. "Cole did a wonderful job," Utley said.

"Our goal was to try and score some runs early (and) try to take the crowd out of it." The second game is also in Tampa on Thursday night.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Mark Mitchener
Phillies closer Brad Lidge came on in the ninth inning and posted a three-out save in front of a sold-out crowd of 41,000 at Tropicana Field.

His performance on Wednesday means Lidge kept his perfect save record intact this year.

With the win, Hamels surpasses Steve Carlton for the most wins in Phillies franchise history in a single post-season.

He is also the first pitcher to win four games in a single post-season since Josh Beckett in 2007.

"He has a tremendous feel for the pitch," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "Any time Cole pitches, I feel like we are going to win."

see also
McCain in baseball election play
22 Oct 08 |  US Elections 2008
Tampa Bay book World Series place
20 Oct 08 |  Baseball
Phillies seal World Series berth
16 Oct 08 |  Baseball
Baseball fixtures/results
10 Oct 06 |  Baseball
Baseball - the basics
26 Oct 05 |  Baseball
Baseball jargonbuster
26 Oct 05 |  Baseball


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