ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Chase Utley's two-run shot in the first put Philadelphia ahead for good Wednesday and the Phillies edged Tampa Bay 3-2 to open the World Series.
Philadelphia put 15 runners on base, but wasted chance after chance to blow the game open. Joe Maddon, managing the first World Series game in Tampa Bay history, called on five pitchers to quell the persistent Philadelphia threats.
The Phillies, meanwhile, got a combined five-hit performance from Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge to give Philadelphia the first of the four wins it needs to claim the second World Series title in the franchise's 125-year existence.
Hamels allowed all five hits and two runs over seven innings to win for the fourth time in the 2008 playoffs.
Scott Kazmir opened the game by getting Jimmy Rollins to fly out, but Jayson Werth walked on a 3-2 pitch and Utley followed with a shot well into the right field seats.
Philadelphia loaded the bases in the second inning without scoring and the Phillies could not take advantage in the next inning when they had a runner on third with one away.
They scratched out a run in the fourth, however, when Shane Victorino and Pedro Feliz singled to start the inning. Both runners moved up on a grounder by Chris Coste and Victorino came in with what proved to be the winning run on a groundout by Carlos Ruiz.
Carl Crawford got one run back in the fourth with a homer and Akinori Iwamura doubled home Jason Bartlett in the fifth to make it 3-2.
Hamels, Madson and Lidge retired the last 10 Tampa Bay batters to preserve the victory.
Game 2 will be played in St. Petersburg Thursday night.