Moyer, homeruns give Phils Game 3 win
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - October 26, 2008 -- Carlos Ruiz hit a tiebreaking home run, and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard added back-to-back solo shots off Matt Garza, giving the Philadelphia Phillies a 4-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays after six innings on Saturday in a World Series Game 3 that started following a 91-minute rain delay and became a late-night affair.
With the Series tied at a game apiece, Utley's RBI grounder in the first inning for the Phillies was offset by Gabe Gross' sacrifice fly against Jamie Moyer in the second.
Ruiz homered for a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second, his first since Sept. 16. Utley homered in the sixth and Howard connected six pitches later as the Phillies kept scoring despite their 1-for-31 woes with runners in scoring position during the Series.
At 45 and the oldest player to appear in the World Series in nearly eight decades, Moyer began the game at 10:06 p.m. with a strike to Tampa Bay's Akinori Iwamura before a towel-waving sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park. It was the latest start in Series history, according to Major League Baseball, beating out the 9:24 p.m. first pitch when Philadelphia hosted Toronto for Game 3 in 1993 at Veterans Stadium following a 72-minute rain delay.
Moyer allowed one run and three hits in the first six innings, striking out five and walking one, while Garza gave up four runs and six hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking two.
Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Jack Quinn was the only player older than Moyer in a Series game. Quinn started in 1929 at age 46 and relieved in the Series a year later.
Moyer was vying to become the oldest pitcher to win a Series game, topping the standard established by 43-year-old Dolf Luque, who got the win for the New York Giants in the finale of the 1933 Series against Washington.
In the top of the first and again in the fourth, fans taunted Rays rookie star Evan Longoria with chants of "Eva!" a reference to the actress with the same last name. Longoria struck out both times and then flied to the left-field warning track with a runner on and two outs in the sixth, dropping to 0-for-11 in the Series. The drive was into the wind.
The game had been scheduled to start at 8:35 p.m., but heavy rain was still falling at 9:20 p.m., when the grounds crew removed the tarp. Moyer walked across the field to the bullpen a few minutes later. Pregame ceremonies were cut short, and Major League Baseball said there will be full introductions before Game 4 Sunday.
The teams split the first two games in Tampa Bay, with the Phillies winning the opener 3-2 and the Rays taking the second game 4-2.
Jimmy Rollins, who had been 0-for-10 in the Series, singled leading off against Garza. The AL championship series MVP who was just a toddler when Moyer won his major league debut in 1986 with the Chicago Cubs by beating future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton and the Phillies.
Jayson Werth walked, and the runners moved up when Garza bounced a wild pitch with Utley at the plate. When Garza fell behind 2-1 in the count, Rays manager Joe Maddon visited the mound to settle his pitcher. Utley then grounded to first as Rollins scored.
Howard struck out -- making him 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in the Series when batting with runners in scoring position -- and Pat Burrell flied out.
Moyer stood halfway between the mound and second as the Roberto Clemente Award presentation to Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals was made after the first inning.
Carl Crawford then plopped a double down the left-field line leading off the second, the ball just glancing off the glove of Burrell, who tried for a sliding catch. Crawford held as Dioner Navarro lined out, then stole third and scored when Gross flied to the warning track in center.
Ruiz's two-out homer in the second, which landed in the left-field seats, was just his fifth of the year. It made him 3-for-6 with two doubles in the Series.
Utley connected on a 94 mph 2-1 pitch leading off the sixth, putting the ball in the lower deck in right. Howard, like Utley helped by a wind blowing from left to right, followed by putting an 86 mph pitch into the seats not too far away.
Fans at Citizens Bank Park huddled under the overhangs and crowded the concourses during the delay to watch No. 3 Penn State's 13-10 victory over No. 10 Ohio State on television. A few hardy souls sat in seats behind the dugout, covered by plastic sheeting that whipped wildly.
"People have been out tailgating here since 3 o'clock this afternoon," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. "If you called a game off every day starting April 6 because it rained sometime during the game, you'd play till Feb. 8. So people are used to it. And by the way, the parking lots are jammed, and people are here."
Colors from the ceremonial World Series logos bled onto the crushed brick warning track behind home plate. Puddles formed on the warning track around the outfield and pools collected on top of the tarp.
Maddon was happy the delay was in a ballpark that opened in 2004 and has modern facilities and space.
"If you're in Fenway, in that clubhouse, it gets kind of annoying," he said, referring to Boston's ballpark. "The clubhouse is, what, maybe half this size. And when you have all the amenities and you get yourself a nice cheesesteak while you're waiting or watch a game on the tube -- J.P. Howell is up there watching Texas versus Oklahoma State right now -- this kind of facility ameliorates that situation a bit and permits you to get through the moment."
His use of "ameliorates" brought laughter from a room of baseball reporters.
Maddon wondered how Garza would spend the time.
"If there's a padded room around here, I'd really like to know about, so he can go there and bounce around for a bit," he said.
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