Jimmy Rollins set the tone with a leadoff homer, and the bats capitalized on Los Angeles mistakes to build a lead Cole Hamels protected.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz drifted into foul territory behind the third-base line, tracking a foul ball off the bat of the Dodgers' Nomar Garciaparra. Immediately after squeezing the ball, Ruiz began jumping up and down before being mobbed by his teammates, who were celebrating Philadelphia's first National League championship in 15 years.
15 -- The Phillies will be playing in their first World Series in 15 years. Game balls Cole Hamels
The Phils' ace turned in yet another superb performance on his way to earning the National League Championship Series MVP award.
Just like he did in the Phils' NLDS-clinching win over the Brewers, Rollins started the Phillies off on a high note Wednesday with a leadoff home run.
Howard's two-out RBI single in the third was just one of the first baseman's three hits on the night.
Sense of October
Hamels ran into some trouble in the seventh inning when he issued consecutive walks to Matt Kemp and Garciaparra. Manager Charlie Manuel then convened a meeting on the pitcher's mound, and Hamels followed it up by striking out Jeff Kent to end the inning.
4 AB, 3 H, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Comment: Along with his clutch third-inning RBI single, Howard scored on Rafael Furcal's throwing error in the fifth.
7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Comment: Hamels ended the NLCS the same way he began it -- with a quality outing that kept the Dodgers guessing at the plate.
"We've got one more big step, and then we're going to take a grand parade."-- Manuel
The Phillies will begin their first World Series since 1993 in either Boston or Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less