Phillies beat Yankees in Game 5!

PHILADELPHIA - November 2, 2009

Chase Utley hit two home runs to raise his World Series total to a record-tying five, backing Cliff Lee once again as Philadelphia staved off elimination with an 8-6 victory Monday night and set up a Game 6 for the first time since 2003.

Utley hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the first inning off A.J. Burnett and added a solo shot in the seventh to join Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit five home runs in a single World Series.

Philadelphia closed within three games to two by replicating its winning formula from the opener, when Utley hit two solo homers and Lee pitched a six-hitter. Raul Ibanez set off fireworks from the Liberty Bell one last time, adding a second solo shot in the seventh off Phil Coke that made it 8-2.

Lee gave up a run-scoring single to Alex Rodriguez in the first inning but settled in until A-Rod chased him with a two-run double in the eighth. Robinson Cano drove in Rodriguez with a sacrifice fly, and New York gave Philadelphia a scare when Jorge Posada doubled and Hideki Matsui singled at the start of the ninth against Ryan Madson.

Derek Jeter hit into a run-scoring double play, Johnny Damon singled and Madson struck out slumping Mark Teixeira for the save.

The Yankees, who have won the Series all eight previous times they took a 3-1 lead, will try to close out title No. 27 on Wednesday night at home. Game 3 winner Andy Pettitte is expected to come back on three days' rest and face Game 2 loser Pedro Martinez.

Pitching on short rest didn't work well for Burnett, who had been 4-0 previously in his career on three days' off and kept the Phillies off balance in Game 2. He kept falling behind batters and allowed six runs, four hits and four walks in two-plus innings, his shortest start since his first outing in 2007.

It marked the first time in 14 postseason games this year that a Yankees starter failed to pitch at least six innings.

In a matchup of starters from Arkansas, Lee allowed five runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings. He is 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five postseason starts.

Philadelphia ended baseball's record streak of five straight Series that ended in sweeps or five games, ensuring at least one more telecast in a matchup between big-market teams that has revived baseball's ratings. The Phillies still face a tall task: The Yankees lost three in a row just twice after the All-Star break and dropped consecutive home games only once after mid-June.

Just 37 of 43 teams with 3-1 Series deficits have gone on to win the title, including five in a row since Kansas City rallied past St. Louis in 1985.

But Pettitte and CC Sabathia, the Yankees' Game 7 starter, will be pitching on short rest - Pettitte for the first time this year and Sabathia for the third time in the postseason.

If the Phillies come back to become the first NL team to win consecutive Series titles since the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds, Yankees manager Joe Girardi will be widely second-guessed for his pitching decisions. No Series champion has gone the entire postseason with just three starters since the 1991 Minnesota Twins - when there were just two rounds of playoffs.

New York, trying for its first title since 2000, still has strong memories from 2001, when the Yankees led Arizona three games to two before losing the final two games on the road. In 2003, the Yankees led Florida two games to one before losing three in a row.

New York will be without center fielder Melky Cabrera for the rest of the Series. Cabrera strained his left hamstring in Game 4 and was replaced on the roster by backup infielder Ramiro Pena as Brett Gardner took over in center field.

Gardner went 0 for 4, and Teixeira dropped to .105 (2 for 19) in the Series with a 1-for-5 night.

Philadelphia received a scare when center fielder Shane Victorino was hit with a pitch while squaring to bunt in the first inning. Victorino repeatedly flexed his hand when he went to the outfield but remained in the game through seven innings and went 0 for 3 at the plate.

While the Phillies have outhomered the Yankees 10-5 in the Series, Ryan Howard is suffering a power outage. He went 0 for 2 with two walks and two strikeouts and is hitting .158 (3 for 19) with 12 strikeouts, tying the Series record set by Kansas City's Willie Wilson in 1980.

New York scored in the first inning for the second straight game. Damon singled to left-center and came home when Rodriguez doubled into the right-field corner with two outs. It was his franchise record 16th RBI of the postseason.

It took just eight pitches for Burnett to give up the lead, giving Phillies fans reason to wave those white rally towels.

Jimmy Rollins singled up the middle on the sixth pitch of his at-bat and, with Rollins running, Victorino squared and was hit in the hand by a pitch. Utley put the next pitch into the right-field seats.

Burnett got in more trouble in the third, when he walked Utley and Ryan Howard, then gave up run-scoring singles to Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez that put Philadelphia ahead 5-1 and finished Burnett's night. Carlos Ruiz added an RBI grounder against David Robertson.

New York made it 6-2 in the fifth, helped by a strange decision by Howard. Pinch-hitter Eric Hinske - who homered for the Phillies in last year's Series - walked with one out and took third on Jeter's single. Damon hit a slow roller in front of first and Howard gloved it as Hinske held, then retreated to the bag for the putout as Hinske scored.


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  • The Philadelphia Phillies led the National League with 43 come-from-behind wins during the regular season, and they have five more in the postseason.

    But this one won't be so easy.

    The New York Yankees took a commanding 3-1 lead in the World Series with a 7-4 win in Game 4 on Sunday night. Of the 42 teams to take a 3-1 lead in the Series, 36 went on to win the crown. The last club to overcome such a deficit was Kansas City in 1985.

    Can the Phillies become the seventh team to win three straight elimination games in the Series? They'll have to stick with the age-old sports cliche and take it one game at a time.

    "I think we take a lot of pride on being resilient and the way we bounce back," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I know that we're going to come out and play tomorrow to win. I know that. I've seen us go through it before.

    "We're in the World Series now. We're down, but you know what, we're still breathing."

    Cliff Lee, an ace in October, takes the mound Monday against New York's A.J. Burnett. Lee dominated the Yankees in the opener and is 3-0 with a dazzling 0.54 ERA in four postseason starts.

    "I don't think we get any more confident," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "Whoever is on the mound, we feel like we've got to win that day. You can't do anything to change tonight. Nothing, think about it hard, it won't change the result."

    The Phillies' biggest problem so far has been a lack of hitting. A potent lineup that led the NL in scoring and averaged 6.1 runs a game against Colorado and Los Angeles in the first two rounds has fizzled. Philadelphia has 16 runs in four games against the Yankees.

    Nearly all the big boppers are slumping at the worst time. Ryan Howard is 3 for 17 with 10 strikeouts. Raul Ibanez is 3 for 16 with nine Ks. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are hitting .200. Chase Utley has three homers and an RBI double off CC Sabathia, but no hits off anyone else.

    Only Jayson Werth, who is batting .308 with two homers, has an average above .267 in the Series.

    Even when they do get hits, they don't come at the right time. All seven of their homers have been solo shots. Utley popped out with two on and nobody out in the fifth. Then he connected with the bases empty in the seventh.

    The Phillies were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position on Sunday night. Howard, Werth and Ibanez stranded nine runners combined.

    "From a good offense standpoint, I look at our team, and we should score on average five runs," Manuel said. "But on a good night, we should be scoring five to six, seven to eight runs with the kind of offense we've got. If we're scoring two and three runs, sometimes it's hard to win games. It's hard for anybody to win games like that."

    It's difficult to win with subpar pitching, too.

    Lee was masterful and Pedro Martinez was outstanding in Game 2. But Cole Hamels pitched poorly Saturday night, allowing five runs in 4 1-3 innings. Joe Blanton gave up four runs in six innings in Game 4 when the Phillies needed a shutdown performance.

    "We're going to go out and play hard," Blanton said. "We're not going to give up, we're not going to lay down. We're going to play like we have the rest of the games and give it all we got."

    If the Phillies need a pep talk, Martinez can provide it. He was with the Boston Red Sox when they overcame a 3-0 deficit against the Yankees in the 2004 AL championship series.

    "We're in way better shape," Martinez said, comparing the predicaments. "This is just one other battle we have to overcome."

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