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View Count: 179 |  Publish Date: April 05, 2014
Utley sparks Phillies in win over Cubs
Bob Brookover, Inquirer Columnist Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014, 3:01 AM
CHICAGO - The impostor who showed up in Cliff Lees uniform on opening day in Arlington, Texas, was nowhere to be found Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Instead, the Phillies got the ace they need so badly, especially while Cole Hamels continues to get ready for his belated start to the 2014 season.
After surrendering eight runs on 11 hits and still walking away with the most unlikely victory of his career against the Rangers, Lee delivered seven shutout innings in his second start of the season, and the Phillies held on for a 2-0 victory that gave manager Ryne Sandberg his second straight win in his old stomping grounds.
Chase Utley, meanwhile, remained the hottest hitter in the Phillies lineup with a 3-for-3 performance that raised his average to .476 through the seasons first five games. He supplied the Phillies with the only run they would need when he slammed a 1-1 fastball from Chicagos Jeff Samardzija into the right-field seats with two outs in the first inning. It was his second home run of the series, which the Phillies will attempt to sweep Sunday.
Utley scored the Phillies second run in the fourth. After drawing a leadoff walk, he advanced to second on a single to left field by Ryan Howard and scored on a single to left-center by Domonic Brown. Utley also reached on an infield single in the sixth and a one-out double in the eighth, accounting for three of the Phillies seven hits. More coverageVOTE: Do the Phillies need to find a new closer?Are Phillies bullpen woes on Sandberg? POLL: Most popular Phils infielder from this era in 20 years?PHOTOS: 2014 Phillies Spring TrainingFollow the Phillies: Download our FREE Pro Baseball app!VOTE: Who will win the NL East?Latest Phillies videos Forum: Can the Phillies contend in 2014?
Lee (2-0) scattered 10 hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out six. He was at his absolute best whenever the Cubs placed runners in scoring position, which was in all but two of his seven innings. The Cubs went down in order just once, but they were hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The lefthanders most difficult escape act came in the third, when he surrendered consecutive singles to Samardzija and Emilio Bonifacio to open the inning. Ahead in the count, 1-2, Lee threw Starlin Castro a nasty change-up and induced a double-play grounder to shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Lee also left Chicago runners stranded at third base in the fourth and seventh innings by recording strikeouts on Wellington Castillo and Justin Ruggiano.
Jake Diekman and closer Jonathan Papelbon finished the job. Diekman pitched a scoreless eighth, and Papelbon bounced back from his Wednesday night meltdown against the Rangers by pitching a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the season.
bbrookover@phillynews.com
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Time: 22:50  |  News Code: 395523  |  Site: philly.com
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