Myers, Victorino lead Phillies’ win

Published 11:35 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008

All those wild hacks Brett Myers takes before games produced clutch singles far more important than any meaningless homers he hits in batting practice.

Myers did better at the plate than on the mound, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs, and Shane Victorino drove in four runs as the Philadelphia Phillies overcame another homer by Manny Ramirez to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 Friday for a 2-0 lead in the NL championship series.

‘‘I looked in the dugout and shrugged my shoulders like I don’t know what’s going on,’’ said Myers, who became the first pitcher to get three hits in an NLCS game.

Email newsletter signup

A free-swinger and free spirit, Myers usually has a simple approach at the plate: Swing hard and hope the ball goes far. He cut his swing down in time to be an unlikely hitting hero.

‘‘He had four hits all year and three today. That’s tough to count on and defend against,’’ Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

A grieving Charlie Manuel was in the dugout with the Phillies, hours after the manager’s mother died. Players and coaches from both teams offered condolences before the game. Manuel didn’t speak to reporters.

‘‘I know Charlie told me he talked to his mom on a regular basis and her only concern was for him to go out and win ballgames,’’ Torre said.

The Phillies rallied around their skipper, and now they’ll have to do the same for their spark-plug center fielder. Victorino was told after the game that his grandmother died Friday morning.

Victorino hopes to attend the funeral in Hawaii without missing any games. No arrangements had been made yet, but Tuesday is a scheduled off day in the series.

Victorino made a clutch catch with two on to end the seventh, and Brad Lidge hung on in the ninth for his second save of the series. He walked Ramirez and James Loney, then struck out Matt Kemp and Nomar Garciaparra to end it.