ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and the Philadelphia Phillies have the upper hand in the World Series. Hamels worked seven innings and Utley homered as the Phillies knocked off the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in Game 1 at St. Petersburg.
Hamels became the 12th pitcher to win four games in a single post-season, holding the Rays to two runs and five hits in seven innings. Hamels has gone at least seven innings in each of his four post-season starts.
Utley put the Phillies ahead to stay by becoming the 34th player to homer in his first career World Series at-bat, smacking a two-run blast just three batters into the game. Carlos Ruiz added an RBI grounder that scored Shane Victorino, who was one of four Phillies with two hits.
The Rays trailed 3-0 in the fourth until Carl Crawford ripped a solo homer off Hamels. Akinori Iwamura made it 3-2 with his third hit of the game, an RBI double in the fifth. But the Rays failed to get a hit the rest of the way.
B.J. Upton was held in check after entering the game with seven homers and 15 RBIs in the playoffs. Upton hit into two double plays and was 0-for-4 while leaving five men on base.
Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge each tossed a perfect inning of relief to close out the win. Lidge has picked up saves in six of the Phillies' eight post-season wins.
Loser Scott Kazmir was reached for three runs and six hits in six innings.
Game 2 is Thursday at St. Pete as Brett Myers will start for the Phillies against James Shields.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)