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MLB Playoffs: Dodgers Beat Phillies, Yankees Stop Angels

Dodgers Beat Phillies, NLCS Tied 1-1

LOS ANGELES- Andre Ethier drew a bases-loaded walk from J.A. Happ that capped a wacky, two-run rally in the eighth inning and sent the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 Friday to even the NL championship series at one game each.

The comeback came after the Phillies pulled Pedro Martinez, who allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings. The Dodgers cobbled together second baseman Chase Utley's throwing error, a bunt, a single by pinch-hitter Jim Thome and two walks.

The Phillies wound up using five relievers in the eighth — Brad Lidge didn't get into the game.

Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Philadelphia.

Hong-Chih Kuo got the victory on three pitches in two-thirds of an inning of relief. Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth to earn the save.

The Dodgers were down 1-0 when Casey Blake opened the eighth with a single off the outstretched glove of third baseman Pedro Feliz. Ronnie Belliard's bunt single got past Chan Ho Park and first baseman Ryan Howard.

Russell Martin followed with a grounder to Feliz, who made a good throw to Utley. But for the second straight game, Utley threw away the relay. This time, it allowed pinch-runner Juan Pierre to score the tying run from the second.

After Thome singled off Scott Eyre, Rafael Furcal drew a walk from Ryan Madson that loaded the bases. Happ struck out Matt Kemp, but the rookie walked Ethier on a full count.

Former Dodgers pitcher Park took the loss, giving up two runs and two hits in one-third of an inning.

For the second time in this year's playoffs, a visiting team let a late lead slip away at Dodger Stadium. Last week, St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday's two-out error in the ninth doomed the Cardinals, who got swept by the Dodgers.

Howard's homer in the fourth off Vicente Padilla accounted for the only run until the eighth.

The game began in 93-degree heat 16 hours after the Phillies won the series opener 8-6. The teams combined for 14 runs on 22 hits and 10 walks in that game, but offense was in short supply with Martinez and Padilla pitching.

It was a matchup of castoffs. An injury-plagued Martinez was let go by the Mets last season, while Padilla got dumped by Texas in August. He signed with the Dodgers two days later, excelled in their drive to a second consecutive NL West title and pitched well against St. Louis in the first round.

Padilla allowed one run and four hits in 7 1-3 innings, struck out six and walked one. He exited to a standing ovation, tipping his cap as he walked off.

Martinez struck out three and walked none in seven innings of his first postseason appearance since Game 3 of the 2004 World Series with Boston. The three-time Cy Young winner, who turns 38 later this month, proved ageless in the stadium where he made his major league debut with the Dodgers in September 1992.

Replacing guile with gas, Martinez only gave up singles to Martin and Kemp before turning it over to Park.

Manny Ramirez went 0 for 4 with a strikeout, twice getting retired by good friend Martinez on weak popups.


CC Sabathia, Yankees Stop Angels Cold

NEW YORK - CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees stopped the Los Angeles Angels cold in the AL championship series opener.

On a blustery night more suited to bobsleds than baseballs, Sabathia pitched eight superb innings of four-hit ball to win his second straight postseason start and New York took advantage of a rare sloppy night by Los Angeles in a 4-1 victory Friday.

The Angels looked like chilled Californians withering in the unseasonable wintry weather, making three errors that led to two unearned runs and allowing an infield popup to drop untouched for an RBI single. Even Torii Hunter, an eight-time Gold Glove center fielder, allowed a single to roll past him.

It was 45 degrees at gametime, and a 17 mph wind made it feel worse. Because of the cold conditions, the traditional foul line introductions before the first game were scrapped.

Back in the ALCS for the first time in five years, New York built a 2-0 lead in the first by taking advantage of a throwing error by left fielder Juan Rivera and a popup by Hideki Matsui that fell between third baseman Chone Figgins and shortstop Erick Aybar, who each thought the other would snag it.

Angels starter John Lackey crouched and screamed in anger. The night didn't get much better for Los Angeles.

After Kendry Morales' fourth-inning single cut the deficit in half, Matsui doubled in a run in the fifth to make it 3-1. Lackey's throwing error on a pickoff attempt allowed Melky Cabrera to take second in the sixth, and Derek Jeter followed with a run-scoring single that got by Hunter.

Sabathia, 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his first postseason with the Yankees, gave up a double and three singles, struck out seven and walked one, going to three-balls count just twice. The crowd repeated chanted the initials of Sabathia, who may start three times in the best-of-seven series goes the full length. The big lefty showed his heightened emotion with a couple of fist pumps.

Mariano Rivera pitched a hitless ninth for his record 36th postseason save, his second this year.

A.J. Burnett is slated to start Game 2 for the Yankees against Joe Saunders, who hasn't pitched since Oct. 4. Rain is in the forecast for Saturday, and a postponement is possible.

There was another disputed call, with first base umpire Laz Diaz ruling Hunter out on his sixth-inning bunt. Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued that first baseman Mark Teixeira's foot came off the bag when he stretched for Sabathia's throw -- replays were inconclusive.

While players took batting practice in ski caps, sweat shirts and gloves, the giant video board in center showed the NLCS game in Los Angeles, where the temperature was in the 90s and fans wore short sleeves.

Nick Swisher, Johnny Damon and Teixeira wore special caps with Elmer Fudd-style ear flaps -- Yankees equipment manager Rob Cucuzza said the team had stocked them all season but hadn't used them before. Second baseman Robinson Cano wore a ski mask.

Aybar appeared to be wearing a sweat shirt with a red hood -- perhaps hindering his ability to hear on the popup that fell. In the stands, actress Kate Hudson bundled in a purple hood. Another fan in the sellout crowd of 49,688 wore a white Santa beard.

Still, the Texas-born Lackey was one of the few players in short sleeves. After pitching 7 1-3 shutout innings in the opener of the Angels' first-round sweep of Boston, he gave up four runs -- two earned -- and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.

New York won a World Series title in its first season at the original Yankee Stadium in 1923 and went on to play exactly 100 Series games there. Eliminated by the Angels in the division series in 2002 and 2005, the Yankees hope to get past their nemesis and reach the Series in the first season at their new $1.5 billion ballpark.

After Jeter singled leading off, the misplays began by the Angels, who set a club record for fewest errors this season with 85.

Johnny Damon singled to left, sending Jeter to third, and advanced to second on Juan Rivera's bad throw between second baseman Howie Kendrick and Aybar.

Alex Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly, his seventh RBI of the postseason, Matsui's popup-single made it 2-0. The Angels pretty much remained in their freeze.

NOTES: It was only the second of 84 games at new Yankee Stadium with no home runs. The other was a rain-delayed June 18 game against Washington. ... Rodriguez ran through a stop signal by third base coach Rob Thomson and was thrown out easily in the fifth by Aybar, who took the throw from Rivera. A-Rod bowled into catcher Jeff Mathis, who held onto the ball

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