Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Los Angeles rallied for two eighth-inning runs off the Phillies bullpen, as J.A. Happ walked Andre Ethier to force in the deciding run, spoiling a vintage Pedro Martinez outing and evening the National League Championship Series in a 2-1 decision in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium.
"I was really proud of the at-bat that Andre had," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He got behind in the count, the shadows made it tough to see and he laid off some tough pitches...It was obviously huge."
Martinez silenced the Dodgers' bats to just two hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out three and walking none.
But Chan Ho Park (0-1) and the much-maligned Philadelphia bullpen -- with the aid of a Chase Utley error -- couldn't hang on to a one-run lead in the eighth, sending the series back to Philadelphia on Sunday tied at one game apiece.
Hong-Chih Kuo (1-0) recorded the final two outs in the eighth behind a stellar start from Vicente Padilla, who allowed just one run, four hits and a walk while fanning six in 7 1/3 innings for the Dodgers.
Jonathan Broxton retired the top of the Phillies' order in the ninth to record the save.
Ryan Howard had half of Philadelphia's four hits, including a solo homer in the fourth to account for the defending World Series champions' only run.
While the clubs accounted for 22 hits in Philly's 8-6 victory in the series opener, it was the starters that shined on Friday.
Padilla, a former Phillie, retired 11 of the final 13 hitters he faced, while Martinez, who started his career with the Dodgers in 1992, was brilliant in only his second start since September 19.
The rest, coupled with the sweltering LA heat, served Philadelphia's midseason acquisition well, as he needed just 87 pitches to get through seven frames.
Regardless, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel opted to use the bullpen to start the eighth, starting with Park.
"I placed my team in a position to win. That was my main goal today," said Martinez, who pitched in the postseason for the first time since 2004. "[Manuel] said before the game he had me for 80 or 90 pitches, and I was very aware that he would make the move at that moment...After 17 days [off] I think seven innings was good enough."
Casey Blake led off the eighth with a single, and Ronnie Belliard reached on a well-placed bunt between Park and a charging Howard.
After failing to lay down a bunt, Russell Martin bounced into a possible 5-4-3 double-play ball, but Utley's throw to first after getting the force at second was well off the mark, allowing pinch-runner Juan Pierre to score the tying run.
"They got a couple of runners on and I thought Chan Ho did a good job of getting a ground ball. I just wasn't able to turn it and they capitalized on it," Utley admitted.
Scott Eyre gave up a single to the only batter he faced -- pinch-hitter Jim Thome -- and Ryan Madson walked Rafael Furcal to load the bases. Matt Kemp struck out, and once again the Phillies went with another reliever.
The lefty-lefty matchup didn't go in the visitors' favor, as Ethier worked a full count against Happ and was able to lay off a borderline ball four to force in the go-ahead run.
Chad Durbin got Manny Ramirez to pop out to end the inning, but the damage was done, as Broxton set down the Phillies in order in the ninth to seal the much- needed win.
Both teams stranded a runner in scoring position in the third inning, and Howard broke a scoreless tie with a no-doubt, opposite-field blast on a 1-1 curveball in the fourth.
Carlos Ruiz erased a leadoff single in the bottom half by throwing out Kemp trying to steal second, and Martinez set down the side in order in the fifth.
The veteran hit Martin in the back with a 2-2 changeup to start the sixth. Padilla moved the runner up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt, but successive fly outs from Furcal and Kemp stranded him there.
It was Howard's first career postseason homer on the road. The All-Star first baseman also became the third player to have at least one RBI in six straight postseason games (Bernie Williams, 1996, and Ivan Rodriguez, 2003)...Martinez who turns 38 on October 25, entered the game with a career postseason mark of 6-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 13 games, including 11 starts...Padilla, also picked up by the Dodgers late in the season, spent five-plus years with the Phillies... This is the first NLCS rematch since Houston and St. Louis met in 2004 and '05...The Dodgers had just five hits in the win and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position...In Game 3 on Sunday, the Phillies look to get back on track with lefty Cliff Lee on the mound, while the Dodgers counter with Hiroki Kuroda, who battled back from a neck injury after being left off the NL Division Series roster.
- Via Sports Network.