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NLDS Game 1: Howard, Phillies slug their way past Cardinals 11-6
PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Howard took a mighty cut, dropped his bat and admired the shot.
The big slugger didn’t go down looking in a clutch spot this time, and Roy Halladay overcame a shaky start to help the Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-6 Saturday night in the opener of their NL division series.
Howard shook off his season-ending strikeout last October to hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, sending Citizens Bank Park into a frenzy. Halladay retired his last 21 batters, and the NL East champions began their all-or-nothing postseason run with a comeback win.
Last year, in his first career playoff start, Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history in Philadelphia’s 4-0 victory over Cincinnati.
But the offense bailed out Doc.
Down 3-1, Jimmy Rollins singled to start the inning. After Utley struck out, Hunter Pence grounded a single up the middle. That brought up Howard, who heard a lot of criticism last year for taking a called third strike with the tying run on second base to end the Phillies‘ season against San Francisco in the NL championship series.
The towel-waving crowd went wild, and Howard came out for a curtain call.
Lohse allowed six runs — five earned — and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.
By John R. Bolton
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