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It was another brisk night -- 48 degrees for the first pitch -- at Citizens Bank Park. Bundled-up fans kept warm by waving their "Fightin' Phils!" rally towels and screaming "Beat LA! Beat LA!"
They had plenty to cheer early when Howard ripped a 3-1 pitch to the seats in right, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the first. Fans gave Howard a standing ovation and many chanted "M-V-P!" as he came out for the early curtain call.
The streaking slugger has driven in a run in each of the Phillies' eight playoff games this year. Gehrig's streak stretched over two World Series with the New York Yankees in 1928 and 1932.
"I'm just going to go up there and keep throwing my bat at the ball," Howard said.
Making his first start since he lasted just 3 2-3 innings in Game 1 of the division series against St. Louis, Wolf gave up three runs and four hits. The Wolf Pack -- a group of fans who used to sit in the upper deck and cheer for Wolf when he pitched in Philadelphia -- was in the crowd. Wolf left them tickets, knowing they would root for their beloved Phillies.
Philadelphia starter Joe Blanton allowed four runs -- three earned -- and six hits in six innings in his first postseason start after two relief appearances against Colorado in the first round.
Coming off the most lopsided victory -- 11-0 -- in their postseason history, the Phillies jumped on the Dodgers in the first for the second straight night. But Wolf settled in and Los Angeles chipped away.
Kemp, who started a two-run rally in the fourth by drawing a walk, put the Dodgers ahead 3-2 when he connected off Blanton with two outs in the fifth. Kemp's drive to straightaway center carried just over the wall. Victorino climbed the short fence with his back turned to the field, but the ball was beyond his reach.
Shaky defense by Philadelphia helped the Dodgers tack on the run in the sixth. Ramirez reached on third baseman Pedro Feliz's throwing error, a ball that first baseman Howard could've scooped. With two outs, Casey Blake looped an RBI single down the right-field line to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Blake was 1 for 13 in the series before the hit.
Blanton retired his first 10 batters before running into trouble in the fourth. James Loney and Russell Martin hit consecutive RBI singles to tie it at 2.
NOTES: Howard tied Mike Schmidt's club record with his sixth career postseason homer. Howard has 14 RBIs this postseason and has reached base safely in 17 straight playoff games. ... Wolf was an All-Star with the Phillies in 2003 and started the first game at Citizens Bank Park in '04. ... Blake was 1 for 25 against Blanton before his RBI single.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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