We Be-LEE-ve - NBC New York

We Be-LEE-ve

Cliff Lee helps Phils keep Dodgers scoreless in Game 3



    Meet Four Inspiring Kids Tackling Cancer
    Getty Images
    It may have been freezing at the ballpark, but starting pitcher Cliff Lee was red hot in the first inning, quickly shutting down the Dodgers.

    Cliff Lee dominated the Dodgers, while Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth provided the big swings early and the Philadelphia Phillies cruised past Los Angeles 11-0 Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in the NL championship series.

    Lee provided another brilliant playoff start, striking out 10 and allowing only three hits in eight innings.

    "Cliff Lee, what can I say about him? He was absolutely outstanding," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

    Howard hustled for a triple, Werth homered and the Phillies led 6-0 by the second inning. Howard made two headfirst dives during the romp -- the big slugger has an RBI in all seven of Philadelphia's playoff games this year, a record streak in a single postseason.

    Howard had three RBIs, including his two-run triple in the first. Werth followed that with a two-run homer, and that was more than enough for Lee.

    The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner faced just two batters over the minimum. Lee gave up a pair of singles to Manny Ramirez and one to Ronnie Belliard.

    Lee is 2-0 with an 0.74 ERA in three postseason starts, giving the Phillies exactly what they expected when they acquired him from Cleveland in late July.

    "I don't know if I ever doubted myself," Lee said. "I always had confidence in myself."

    On a brisk 46-degree night, Philadelphia's hitters had no trouble swinging hot bats. Every starter except Raul Ibanez had a hit and all nine starters scored a run.

    Victorino's home run to deep right field put an emphatic exclamation mark on the rout. The shot also made the Phillies the city's highest-scoring team of the day -- the Eagles lost 13-9 to the Oakland Raiders.

    The Flyin' Hawaiian got things started in the first inning. Victorino singled with one out and stole second. Chase Utley followed with a single. Howard then ripped a liner into the right-field corner to score both runners. The 255-pound slugger chugged around the bases and dove headfirst into the third for his first career postseason triple.

    "It was one of those things where I had to make up my mind," Howard said. "Once I hit second, I was going for it."

    Werth made it 4-0 with a long drive that landed in the shrubs in almost straightaway center.

    Carlos Ruiz started the second inning with a double and scored on Jimmy Rollins' one-out double that chased Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda. Scott Elbert came in and walked Victorino and Utley. Howard's RBI dribbler put the Phillies up 6-0.

    Coming off the most-lopsided win in their postseason history, the defending World Series champion Phillies will try to move closer to a return trip in Game 4 Monday night. Joe Blanton starts against the Dodgers' Randy Wolf, who hasn't pitched since the opener of the division series against St. Louis.

    The next two games in the best-of-seven series are at home for the Phils.