A triumphant Philadelphia Phillies strolled past the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 10-4 home victory to seal the National League Championship Series and advance to the World Series.
|Ryan Howard was awarded MVP of the series [GALLO/GETTY]
The Phillies wrapped up the best-of-seven series 4-1 and will face the winner of the American League Championship Series.
The New York Yankees are poised to take that series victory with a 3-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Angels.
Slugging first baseman Ryan Howard, who hit two homers and drove in eight runs in the NLCS, was named MVP of the series.
"What we did last year, that was something special," Howard said.
"But to get back to this point, to have the opportunity to try to do it two years in a row, that's even more special."
Dodgers manager Joe Torre was disappointed with the defeat.
"We weren't the best team this week, I don't think that's any secret," Torre said.
"This losing leaves a real pit in your stomach."
Jayson Werth led the way for Philadelphia by belting a pair of homers among four swatted by the Phillies - a three-run shot to right field in the first inning and a solo blast to centre in the seventh.
Pedro Feliz cleared the fence in the second inning and Shane Victorino clouted a two-run homer in the sixth.
The Dodgers powered three homers themselves on a mild night in Philadelphia, but the home runs by Andre Ethier, James Loney and pinch-hitter Orlando Hudson all came with the bases empty.
Werth's first-inning blast erased a 1-0 Dodgers lead from Ethier's shot in the top of the first. Loney reduced the deficit to 3-2 with a homer in the second but that was as close as the Dodgers got.
The relentless Phillies scored one run in the second, two in the fourth and two more in the sixth before adding single runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Reliever Chad Durbin, the third of six Phillies' pitchers, was credited with the win because starter Cole Hamels left with one out in the fifth.
Los Angeles starter Vicente Padilla, a former Phillies pitcher, took the loss.
|Second time in a row for the Phillies [GALLO/GETTY]
Hamels, holding a 6-2 lead, was removed after yielding the one-out Hudson homer and a double by Rafael Furcal in the fifth.
J.A. Happ came on and issued a walk to Ronnie Belliard before retiring Ethier on a fly to left.
Durbin was then brought in to face Dodgers' slugger Manny Ramirez, who represented the tying run. The right-hander retired Ramirez on a check-swing dribbler toward third to end the threat.
The Dodgers mounted a rally in the eighth, when Korean Park Chan-ho gave up singles to Ronnie Belliard and Ethier and was replaced by Ryan Madson, who walked Ramirez to load the bases.
Matt Kemp then drove in Ethier before Madson got out of the jam by retiring Loney on a foul pop to third, striking out Russell Martin and inducing Casey Blake to ground to shortstop for a force out at second.
The Phillies, who also beat the Dodgers 4-1 in last year's NLCS, will be attempting to become the first NL team to repeat as World Series champions since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds.
Philadelphia defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in last year's Fall Classic and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel exuded confidence.
"I know we can win the World Series again," Manuel said.