Los Angeles Dodgers fell to a humiliating 11-0 thrashing to go 2-1 down to reigning World Series champs Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.
|Lee's unerring pitches gave the Phillies their biggest post-season win [GALLO/GETTY]
The Phillies raced to a 4-0 lead in the first inning at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday before home starting pitcher Cliff Lee struck out 10 and allowed just three hits over eight innings.
No mean feat against the heaviest hitters of the National League.
"We had a pretty nice lead so it made a little easier on me," Lee said after taking the adulation of the scarf-waving Philadelphia crowd.
"So things went well."
Lee, a mid-season acquistion who won the American League Cy Young Award for Cleveland in 2008, did not give up a walk and allowed the Dodgers, the NL's best-hitting team, only three singles on a cold night.
Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez had two of the hits.
"Obviously I wanted to go back out there (to pitch the ninth), but getting the win was the main thing," said Lee, who contributed an eighth inning single before yielding to Chad Durbin on the mound.
"He's pretty damn special," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Lee.
The win was the most lopsided post-season victory for Philadelphia.
Ryan Howard gave the World Series champions the perfect start with a two-run triple in the first.
The hit enabled the Philadelphia first baseman to celebrate at least one run-batted-in in seven consecutive playoff games, a Major League best for one postseason.
"It's the playoffs," Howard said.
"You just try to step your game up as much as possible. You try to get on base any way you can."
Jayson Werth followed Howard with a two-run homer to centre field to give the Phillies the four-run lead.
They added two more runs in both the second and fifth innings to stretch their advantage to 8-0 before Shane Victorino completed the rout with a three-run homer in the eighth.
The Dodgers pulled starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda after less than two innings.
Kuroda, who had not pitched since September 28 because of a bulging disk in his neck, was charged with six runs and six hits while striking out one.
Howard had another RBI in the second on a ground out.
Game Four of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Philadelphia on Monday.
The Dodgers send Randy Wolf, a former Phillies pitcher, to the mound against Philadelphia right-hander Joe Blanton.