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A sellout crowd of 45,721 made Kuroda uncomfortable from the start. Fans waved their "Fightin' Phils" rally towels and chanted "Beat LA! Beat LA!" even before the first pitch was thrown.
Ramirez got an earful, too. Fans screamed "You took steroids!" before he struck out in the seventh inning.
Victorino, who exchanged words with Kuroda in the NLCS last year after a fastball buzzed his head, got things started in the first. 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 with a double and scored on Jimmy Rollins' one-out double that chased Kuroda. Scott Elbert came in and walked Victorino and Utley. Howard's RBI dribbler put the Phillies up 6-0. Howard dove headfirst into first on that play, too, trying to avoid the tag.
When the Phillies were in the field, all eyes were on Utley after he committed two costly throwing errors on double-play balls in the first two games. Utley bounced his first throw to first base, but Howard made the scoop. But he made a couple routine throws later and drew some cheers.
NOTES: Howard extended his postseason streak of reaching base to 16 games. ... Former Phillies Vicente Padilla and Randy Wolf were booed during NLCS introductions. Former shortstop and manager Larry Bowa received a mixed reaction and there was a nice ovation for former slugging first baseman Jim Thome.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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