Cole Hamels put Philadelphia in position to win, then Brad Lidge barely hung on. Behind their top two arms, the Phillies grabbed their first postseason victory in 15 years.
Hamels pitched eight brilliant innings, Lidge escaped a ninth-inning jam and Philadelphia took advantage of Mike Cameron's miscue in center field for a 3-1 win over Milwaukee in their playoff opener Wednesday.
Chase Utley's two-run double slipped out of Cameron's glove in the third inning, sending Philadelphia to a 3-0 lead. Lidge allowed a run in the ninth but struck out Corey Hart with runners and second and third to end it.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Thursday, with ace CC Sabathia going to the mound for the wild-card Brewers on three days' rest for the fourth consecutive start. Brett Myers pitches for the Phillies.
It'll be tough for anyone to match Hamels' superb performance. The 24-year-old lefty retired the first 14 batters and allowed two hits, striking out nine.
Lidge, 41-for-41 in save chances during the season, pitched out of trouble. The Brewers had the tying run at the plate when Prince Fielder fanned for the second out. After J.J. Hardy walked to put two runners on, the runners advanced on a wild pitch. But Hart struck out swinging to end it.
Hamels baffled the fastball-hitting Brewers with his dazzling changeup, helping the Phillies earn their first postseason win since the 1993 World Series against Toronto.
The NL East champions were swept out of the first round by the surging Colorado Rockies last year. Hamels lost the opener of that series.
Making his second start since returning from surgery for a torn knee ligament, Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo got rattled after his defense fell apart in the third.