Riding high on impressive performances by Cole Hamels and Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies beat Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in the opening game of World Series 2008 at St. Petersburg. With this win, Phillies take a 1-0 lead in the best of seven games competition.
“It’s huge,” Phillies closer Brad Lidge said. “You try and downplay it, but obviously you’re coming into a place like this, you want to make sure you get the first game, especially because you got your ace on the mound. It’s really important to do that.”
While Hamels held Rays to two runs and five hits in the seven innings, Utley became the 34th player to homer in his first series at bat. The game looked evenly poised half-way through but Rays couldn’t manage any hits after the fifth inning. It should be kept in mind that Phillies have captured the series 10 of the last 11 times.
On behalf of Rays, B.J. Upton got two double plays and a strikeout and Evan Longoria got three strikeouts.
“I don’t think it threw off our timing too much,” Utley said of the six-day layoff. “I think tomorrow we should definitely be more back on track.”
The game was played in an attendance of over 40,000 people. Game 2 will be played at Tropicana Field on Thursday night.
More photos and a video of MLB are below.
World Series Video