(Reuters) – The New York Yankees smashed three home runs and drove ace pitcher Roy Halladay out of the game to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 on Tuesday in a rematch of last year’s World Series.
The Yankees, who beat the Phillies 4-2 to win the best-of-seven World Series, scored six times off Halladay and forced the Phillies to replace him after six innings in the interleague game at Yankees Stadium.
Halladay (8-5) allowed two runs in the second inning then surrendered home runs to Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher in the third where New York took a 5-0 advantage.
“I made mistakes early on that put us in an early hole,” Halladay said. “I missed with location early on. That was the toughest part for me — I knew I was missing.
“I didn’t get away with anything.”
The Phillies (32-30) rallied with three runs in the fourth but Mark Teixeira homered in the fifth and Francisco Cervelli hit a two-run single in the seventh to help the Yankees (41-23) to the comfortable victory.
New York starter CC Sabathia struck out seven and allowed three runs to improve to 7-3 this season.
The Yankees, who were without slugger Alex Rodriguez (groin) for the fourth successive game, remained tied with the Tampa Bay Rays at the top of the American League East Division with the victory.
“We’ve got a good offense,” Sabathia said. “(Halladay) has pitched well against us a lot in the past, but guys have been swinging the bat well.
“(Rodriguez) is out, but Swisher has picked up the slack. Curtis hit a big home run. We’ve got a pretty good team.”
(Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)