Phillies win keeps dream to win series against Giants alive after facing a 3-1 game deficit [Reuters]
The Philadelphia Phillies kept their World Series dreams alive with a gritty 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants to send the National League Championship Series back to the East Coast.
Facing a 3-1 series deficit, the Phillies turned to Roy Halladay for Game Five on Thursday and the big right-hander delivered, allowing two runs on six hits over six scrappy innings to send the series back to Philadelphia for Game Six on Saturday.
"We did exactly what we had to do, we won the game," Charlie Manuel, the Phillies manager, told reporters.
"Going back home we have [Roy] Oswalt going the first game and [Cole] Hamels the second.
"I figure if we get back home and the way we play, I figure we definitely kind of changed things around a little bit," he said.
Game Five failed to deliver the expected classic pitching duel, as Halladay, nursing a mild groin strain faced Giants' ace Tim Lincecum.
The Phillies, however, managed to score three runs off Lincecum in a wild third inning, where they were helped by a hit batter, a foul ball bunt that was ruled fair and a costly fielding error by first baseman Aubrey Huff, to seal the game.
"We were able to get the lead and you just try to do all you can to hold it," Halladay said.
"I would have liked to have gone deeper but the bullpen did a great job for us and we're playing another one back home."
Halladay struggled early on Thursday, issuing a leadoff walk to Andres Torres followed by a line drive base hit to Freddy Sanchez. Buster Posey then hit into a fielder's choice to score Torres.
Philadelphia, however, hit back with their three-run burst in the third with Raul Ibanez lining a single to right before he was moved to second when Lincecum hit Carlos Ruiz.
Halladay then lay down a bunt that was ruled fair but replays showed was foul, advancing the runners for Shane Victorino, who hit a line drive that Huff fumbled, allowing Ibanez and Ruiz to score.
Placido Polanco then singled to drive in Victorino and give the Phillies a 3-1 lead.
The Giants pulled one back in fourth on a Cody Ross RBI double but Halladay and the Phillies bullpen would not allow another run.
Jayson Werth provided some breathing room with a solo home run to open the ninth with Brad Lidge coming on to get the final three outs and the save.
"With this club, we don't do anything easy," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "What they've been through, they'll put this behind us.
"We were under no illusion this was going to be easy."