Phillies, Dodgers Seem Headed For Playoff Clash

The Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers appear headed for another postseason showdown. That wouldn't bother anyone in either clubhouse.

Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino homered, and Philadelphia beat the Dodgers 7-2 Sunday to split a four-game series between teams with the top two records in baseball.

"October's a long way away," Howard said. "The Dodgers have been playing great, and obviously their record has shown that they're on their way. They're a more experienced team now and they're definitely more mature than they were last year. But you can't look too far ahead. You just focus on what's going on now. If we were to meet again in October, that would be great. But we'll have to wait."

The defending World Series champions, who beat the Dodgers in the NL championship series, maintained their three-game lead over the Mets in the NL East. Los Angeles' cushion over second-place San Francisco in the West was cut to eight games.

"They've built a big lead, but they've got to hold onto it," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think that when Manny Ramirez gets back, obviously that will add more to their offense. But their pitching has to hold up for them. That's the key to every team's success."

Rollins, who came in batting .219 and was hitless in his previous 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position, was 2 for 4 with an opposite-field single that helped build a run in the second inning.

The Dodgers, who have the best record in baseball at 39-20 and lead the NL in batting average, runs and on-base percentage, have totaled only seven runs in 46 innings against opponents' starting pitchers over their last seven games.

"We'll be fine. We're going to score runs," manager Joe Torre said. "With so many questions being asked about it, I think everyone is self-conscious about it and trying too hard. Hopefully, we come back Tuesday after a breather tomorrow and start swinging the bats a little better."


Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us