x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Phillies one win from Series title

The Philadelphia Phillies crush the Tampa Bay Rays 10-2 last night to move within one win of their first World Series crown in 28 years.

The Philadelphia Phillies celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays to win game four of the 2008 MLB World Series.
The Philadelphia Phillies celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays to win game four of the 2008 MLB World Series.

PHILADELPHIA // The Philadelphia Phillies crushed the Tampa Bay Rays 10-2 last night to move within one win of their first World Series crown in 28 years. Slugger Ryan Howard hit two homers, while Jayson Werth and the starting pitcher Joe Blanton also cleared the fences for the Phillies, who claimed a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Rays' dream season, which has taken them from the worst record in the majors to their first Fall Classic, will come to an end if they lose Game Five at Citizens Bank Park today.

The Major League's home run leader Howard hit a towering three-run homer in the fourth inning to open up a 5-1 advantage against Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine. After the Rays' pinch-hitter Eric Hinske homered in the fifth to cut the margin to 5-2, the winning pitcher Blanton restored the four-run lead in the bottom of the same inning with the first home run of his career. Blanton's drive over the left-field fence was the 15th home run by a pitcher in the World Series and the first since Ken Holtzman homered for the Oakland A's in 1974 Fall Classic.

Werth and Howard added some icing on the cake with a pair of two-run homers in the eighth as Blanton and the formidable Phillies bullpen combined on a five-hitter. Game One winner Cole Hamels starts Game Five for the Phils, while Scott Kazmir tries to keep a remarkable turnaround season alive for Tampa Bay, who are getting their first taste of the postseason after 10 years at the bottom of the standings.

*Reuters