Utley would single home an insurance run in the seventh, and the Phillies would tack on three more over the final two innings, as the offense ensured there would be no bullpen collapse today on their way to a 7-2 victory.
The right-hander was solid on the afternoon, keeping the ball down and needing just 73 pitches to get through 5 1/3 innings before manager Ryne Sandberg called to the bullpen for lefty Jake Diekman.
There would be no bullpen collapse today, as the relievers combined to toss 4 2/3 scoreless innings just a few days removed from two late inning implosions in the final games of their series with the Rangers.
Utley’s fifth inning homer, his first of the season, would give the Phillies a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, as the second baseman went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the 7-2 win.
Domonic Brown went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, while John Mayberry Jr. had a pinch-hit two-run home run in the eighth. Carlos Ruiz continued to produce from the two hole, going 1-for-2 with two walks on the day.
Cliff Lee will square off with Jeff Samardzija Saturday afternoon in game two of this series, as Jimmy Rollins is expected to return to the lineup.
By: Kyle Babcock
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