National League's best pitcher, right-hander Roy Halladay, the NL starter in this year's All-Star game.
Tilting the scales further, Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda, despite a sparkling career record against the Phillies, hadn't won a game in which he had given up one or more runs since April 24, and he gave up three runs in the first two innings Monday.
Kuroda then settled down, and the Dodgers made of game of it by clawing back against the Phillies' bullpen after repeatedly leaving runners in scoring position against Halladay.
But Philadelphia held on for a 5-3 victory in front of an announced 35,380.
The Dodgers scored twice in a busy eighth inning to cut the Phillies' lead to 4-3.
First, Matt Kemp singled against reliever Michael Stutes, stole second base and scored on Aaron Miles' single.
Later, pinch-hitter Juan Rivera singled against Brad Lidge to drive in Miles.
Dee Gordon then grounded to second baseman Chase Utley, and the ball and Rivera reached Utley at the same time. As both players crumpled to the ground, Rivera was called out for runner's interference and left the game hobbling.
The extent of Rivera's injury wasn't immediately known.
But Shane Victorino then hit a home run against Mike MacDougal in the ninth inning to widen Philadelphia's lead to 5-3.
Victorino finished three for five and scored three times. The center fielder received a three-game suspension after he and the Phillies were involved in a brawl with the Giants in San Francisco over the weekend. But because Victorino is appealing the penalty, he was in the lineup.
This was a rematch of the last time Halladay faced the Dodgers, Aug. 30, 2010, when Kuroda took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and the Dodgers won, 3-0.
On Monday, though, Kuroda had almost no margin for error. He ended up giving up four runs (three of them earned) and nine hits in 61/3 innings.
Kuroda, speaking through an interpreter, said that the Phillies were "one of the best" lineups he has faced this season and that giving them early runs was frustrating.
"Especially facing a pitcher like Halladay … there's a lot of pressure on our lineup, on our offense," Kuroda said.
Halladay, too, gave up nine hits but only one run as the frustrated Dodgers couldn't cash in with runners in scoring position.
The Phillies, of course, were the Dodgers' postseason nemesis in 2008 and 2009 when Philadelphia beat the Dodgers both years to win the NL Championship Series. (The Phillies won the World Seriesin 2008 and lost in 2009.)
The Dodgers scratched their one run against Halladay in the fifth inning when Jamey Carroll singled, Kuroda bunted a ball that stayed just inside the first base line for a hit and, two outs later, Carroll scored when Casey Blake grounded out.