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David Brown

A-Rod, Nick Swisher bash Phillies, Yankees take Game 3 in Philly

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Score and situation: Yankees 8, Phillies 5 New York leads Series 2-1

Leading lads: He came in 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in the series, but Alex Rodriguez(notes) got on his centaur and drove a two-run home run to right field in the fourth to get the Yankees on the board. The play at first was ruled a double, but umpires changed the call after checking video replay. It hit a TV camera that actually stuck out over the field of play, but the ball's trajectory appeared to be over the fence.

Benched for Game 2, Nick Swisher(notes) rebounded to go 2-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored.

Revved up by a 75-minute rain delay before the first pitch, Phillies fans were in full throat in hopes of seeing their idols take a step toward another championship, but the Yankees stayed calm despite falling behind in the second inning.

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Head hangers: The Phillies cheese-staked Cole Hamels(notes) to a 3-0 lead in the second inning but he continued to struggle, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He has allowed 16 earned runs and 25 hits so far in 19 postseason innings, a far cry from his 2008 domination. If the Twitterverse is any indication, Phillies fans want the 2008 World Series MVP shelved until Clearwater.

Ryan Howard(notes) went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts — he had six straight overall at one point — and is batting .154 in the Series. Jayson Werth(notes), who clubbed two homers, is the only Phillies player producing.

Key play: Pitcher Andy Pettitte(notes) tied the score with an RBI single in the fifth inning. If he makes an out there, like pitchers usually do, who knows how the rest of the game goes?

Key stat: Of the past 10 times the World Series has been locked at 1-1, the Game 3 winner has won the title nine times. The exception: The 2003 Yankees, who fell to Florida.

What they're talking about: It took umpires about a minute to check the A-Rod replay and get back on the field for the next pitch.

What they're saying:

"It was much more like myself. The last couple nights, they made good pitches but I helped them out and chased some bad pitches off the plate. Tonight was a lot more disciplined and better results." — Alex Rodriguez.

What's next: CC Sabathia(notes), pitching with three days of rest, tries to help the Yankees take a commanding lead in Game 4 beginning at 8:20 ET. Right-hander Joe Blanton(notes) tries to get the Phillies even with Cliff Lee(notes) going in Game 5.

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