The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks behind Jon Lieber, who beat Arizona for the first time in his career. Lieber had lost each of his seven previous appearances against the Diamondbacks and was one shy of Sterling Hitchcock's record eight-game losing streak against Arizona (1998-2001). • For more Elias Says, click here.
Utley hit a three-run homer to extend his hitting streak to 26 games and Dellucci hit a solo shot to help Lieber and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 on Wednesday night.Utley's 19th homer of the season in the second inning tied him for the fourth-longest hitting streak in Phillies history. Utley hit a 1-2 pitch off starter Brandon Webb (11-4) into the seats in right, extending the longest streak in the majors this season.Shortstop Jimmy Rollins has the longest streak in team history at 38 games -- the final 36 of last season and the first two this year."If he passes me, I hope he passes Joey D., too," Rollins said, referring to Joe DiMaggio's all-time record of 56 consecutive games.About the only one not talking about Utley's effort was the All-Star second baseman himself. The superstitious Utley remained mum about the streak and brushed off general questions about his torrid hitting (.398 in the last 26 games)."I think Lieber pitched a good game. I think we played some good defense," he said.Like Rollins' effort last season, Utley's feat won't be nearly enough to get the Phillies into the postseason. The Phillies (45-53) have been a big disappointment after finishing only a game behind Houston in the NL wild-card race last season.Expected to be contenders, the Phillies instead are looking to deal at next week's trade deadline. Two names heavily rumored on the block are Dellucci and Lieber (4-7), who won for the first time since May 13, against Cincinnati.Dellucci's numbers and playing time have greatly diminished a year after hitting a career-best 29 homers with Texas. Dellucci has played well when he's in the lineup, but he's stuck as a reserve behind Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell in the outfield.Dellucci (.323 in 80 games) has made no secret he wants to start and doesn't care what team he plays for."Coming off the year I had last year and having over 500 plate appearances, at this point in my career, I need to play. I need to play on a consistent basis," he said. "I understand that this outfield is loaded here and sometimes you just have to go where you get the at-bats. No hard feelings or anything like that, but I need to play."Lieber could be exactly what a contending team is looking for down the stretch. He's had some solid outings since an 0-4 start and a stint on the disabled list with a strained left groin.Lieber allowed 11 hits and four runs in seven innings. Tom Gordon worked the ninth for his 24th save.Signed away from the Yankees to a three-year deal before last season, Lieber said he's paid no attention to trade rumors and hoped to finish the season in Philadelphia."I have no clue. That's why they're called rumors," he said.More than just interested scouts were watching Lieber: Thanks to a Ryan Howard bobblehead promotion, the Phillies drew a record crowd of 45,459 to the 3-year-old Citizens Bank Park."He's a Phillie. He's a Phillie until someone pulls the cork," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of his ace.Webb got tagged for two runs in the first inning that helped lead to his first loss since June. 21. Dellucci's bases-loaded grounder to third went under Chad Tracy's legs, allowing two runs to score. But Webb coaxed David Bell to hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.With two runners on in the second, Utley hit an arcing shot to stretch his streak and give the Phillies a 5-0 lead. He hit two homers -- including a tying shot in the ninth -- in Tuesday's loss."Utley's pretty locked in right now," Webb said. "I thought I had him with a decent pitch."Lieber allowed four straight singles in the third that cut the lead to 5-3. Dellucci's solo shot in the third, his seventh, made it 6-3.Webb allowed six runs and six hits in six innings. Arizona lost for the fourth time in its last 15 games."We probably could have helped Webb out a little more," manager Bob Melvin said.
Ed Delahanty had a 31-game hitting streak in 1899, Billy Hamilton had a 27-gamer in 1894 and Chuck Klein twice hit in 26 straight games in 1930 for the Phillies. ... The Phillies traded backup catcher Sal Fasano to the Yankees for minor-league second baseman Hector Made. Fasano had been designated for assignment by the Phillies on July 22. He hit .243 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 50 games.