ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Cole Hamels, Chase Utley and the rest of the Philadelphia Phillies shook off a week's worth of waiting and turned it into a World Series win.
Hamels escaped trouble to win his fourth postseason start, Utley hit a two-run homer in the first inning and the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in the opener Wednesday night.
The worst-to-first Rays flopped in their first game in baseball's ultimate event, managing just five hits.
The Phillies showed little evidence of rust. They'll try to make it two in a row at Tropicana Field when Brett Myers pitches against James Shields in game 2 Thursday night.
The team that won the opener has won the Series 63 of 103 times, including 10 of the last 11. But the team with home-field advantage has won 18 of the last 22 titles.
(Copyright 2008 By The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)