Jimmy Rollins lined a two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning off All-Star closer Jonathan Broxton and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Monday night for a 3-1 lead in the NL championship series.
The defending champions can earn their second straight trip to the World Series with a victory at home in Game 5 on Wednesday night. Cole Hamels, last year’s NLCS and World Series MVP, will take the mound for the Phillies. Clayton Kershaw or Vicente Padilla will start for Los Angeles.
Trailing 4-3, the Phillies started their rally with one out in the ninth when pinch-hitter Matt Stairs walked on four pitches against Broxton. The right-hander hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch, but pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs looped a soft liner to third for the second out.
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Rollins, just 3 for 18 in the series to that point, ripped a 99 mph fastball to right-center and the ball rolled to the wall. Andre Ethier‘s throw toward the infield was high and off line, and Ruiz slid home safely without a play.
Brad Lidge got two outs to earn his first win this year. Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer that gave him eight straight postseason games with at least one RBI, tying Lou Gehrig’s major league record set more than seven decades ago.
Angels 5, Yankees 4, 11 innings
Jeff Mathis hit a two-out double in the 11th inning to drive home the winning run and Los Angeles survived a second straight thriller, beating the Yankees and trimming New York’s lead in the AL championship series to 2-1.
In a game full of missed chances for both sides, the Angels eventually rallied to hand the Yankees their first loss of this postseason.
Howie Kendrick homered, tripled and then singled with two outs in the 11th off losing pitcher Alfredo Aceves. Mathis followed with his drive up against the left-field wall, and Kendrick slid home well ahead of a desperate throw.
Vladimir Guerrero also homered as the Angels overcame a 3-0 deficit and four solo homers by the Yankees‘ stars, including Jorge Posada‘s tying shot in the eighth. Ervin Santana got the win.
Game 4 is Tuesday night, with CC Sabathia pitching on three days’ rest against Angels newcomer Scott Kazmir.