Cliff Lee pitched like an ace instead of a postseason rookie.
PHILADELPHIA — Cliff Lee pitched like an ace instead of a postseason rookie.
Lee dominated the Colorado Rockies, tossing a six-hitter, and the Philadelphia Phillies began their World Series title defense with a 5-1 victory in their NL playoff opener Wednesday.
Raul Ibanez had two hits and two RBIs, and Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth drove in runs with key extra-base hits off 15-game winner Ubaldo Jimenez.
On a day when swirling winds made flyballs an adventure, Lee, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, struck out five and had no walks in his first career playoff start. He retired 16 straight batters at one point until Garrett Atkins hit a wind-blown double in the seventh. Lee lost his shutout when Troy Tulowitzki doubled in a run with two outs in the ninth.
The hard-throwing Jimenez was equally impressive against the league's No. 1-scoring offense for four innings, but ran out of gas in the fifth. He got chased with no outs in the sixth after allowing nine hits and five runs in five-plus innings.
Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3
At Los Angeles, Randy Wolf and the Dodgers bullpen outpitched St. Louis ace Chris Carpenter, and Los Angeles beat the Cardinals in an NL playoff opener full of missed chances for both teams.
Pitching in the playoffs for the first time in his 11-year career, Wolf lasted 3 2-3 innings. Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer off Carpenter in the first inning, giving the NL West champions the lead for good.
The teams set a division series record by stranding a combined 30 runners. The Dodgers left 16, including 12 in scoring position.
Offense was at a premium for both teams' sluggers. The Dodgers' Manny Ramirez went 1 for 4 with double and a walk, while Albert Pujols was 0 for 3 with two intentional walks for the NL Central champion Cardinals.
Jeff Weaver, who relieved Wolf, got the victory, allowing one hit in 1 1-3 innings and striking out one. Jonathan Broxton pitched 1 1-3 innings earn the save.
Game 2 is Thursday at Dodger Stadium, with Clayton Kershaw, another playoff rookie, starting for Los Angeles against 19-game winner Adam Wainwright. Only once this season when Carpenter and Wainwright started back-to-back did St. Louis lose both games.
Carpenter, who was the NL's ERA leader while going 17-4 and went 2-0 against the Dodgers this season, gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings.
Yankees 7, Twins 2
At New York, Derek Jeter homered, CC Sabathia was the ace the Yankees signed him to be, and New York romped over the Minnesota Twins in the opener of their AL playoff series.
Even Alex Rodriguez broke out of his playoff rut against these tired Twins.
After Jeter's third-inning homer off losing pitcher Brian Duensing made it 2-all, Nick Swisher hit a go-ahead double in the fourth.
Rodriguez had gone 0 for 29 in the postseason with runners on base dating to Game 4 of the 2004 AL championship series before chasing Duensing with an RBI single that made it 4-2 in the fifth. Rodriguez hit an RBI single off the right-field wall in the seventh.
After beating Detroit in the AL Central tiebreaker at the Metrodome on Tuesday night, Minnesota didn't arrive at its hotel until nearly 4 a.m. The Yankees were 7-0 against the Twins during the regular season.
Sabathia, who had lost his last three playoff decisions for Cleveland and Milwaukee, allowed one earned run in 6 2-3 innings and struck out eight.