Phils rout Twins
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chase Utley told everyone he wasn't hurt and backed it up with a strong all-around performance. Utley homered, Ryan Howard went deep twice and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Minnesota Twins 9-5 on Friday night. Utley had ...
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chase Utley told everyone he wasn't hurt and backed it up with a strong all-around performance.
Utley homered, Ryan Howard went deep twice and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Minnesota Twins 9-5 on Friday night.
Utley had two hits, drove in four runs and played outstanding defense after denying before the game that he's injured. First base coach Davey Lopes told Baseball Prospectus that Utley "has been hampered by a little bit of a knee injury."
"It's always nice to get results, get on base and help the team win," Utley said.
Joe Blanton (2-5) threw six effective innings for the Phillies, who have won three straight and four of five after a 5-14 skid dropped them into third place in the NL East.
Howard went 4 for 4 with three RBIs and set a career high with four extra-base hits, falling a single short of the cycle.
"We know the scouting report and we know what we're supposed to do," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Tonight we just didn't execute anything against him. He's a great hitter. You throw the ball up there like we did to him, he's going to hit it."
Nick Punto hit a two-run shot for the AL Central-leading Twins.
Blanton gave up three runs and seven hits. The right-hander didn't allow a hit until Jason Kubel led off the fifth with a triple and was thrown out by Utley trying to stretch it into an inside-the-park homer.
Nick Blackburn (6-4) allowed eight runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings in his shortest outing since last Aug. 11.
"I left some balls up," Blackburn said. "Every time I left a ball up, it was hit."
Utley admitted he has occasional pain in his right knee, but emphasized it's not serious and isn't the reason for a slump that has plagued him since late April.
"He comes to the ballpark and works as hard if he gets no hits," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I know he's going to hit because he works so hard."
The Phillies scored three runs off Blackburn in the first and chased him with five in the second.
Utley lined an RBI single to right, Howard ripped a run-scoring triple into the right-field corner and Jayson Werth's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.
That was a nice cushion for Blanton, who entered with a 7.28 ERA and only had two quality starts among his first eight outings.
"You have a little wiggle room to attack the zone, but you still don't want to change your approach," Blanton said.