Utley homered twice and drove in four runs, and the surging
Philadelphia Phillies overcame a four-run deficit to beat the
Florida Marlins 10-7 Sunday for their fifth straight win.
Philadelphia, which has won 10 of its last 12 games, remained a
half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the wild-card race.
The Phillies (82-73), who haven't made it to the postseason since
losing the 1993 World Series to Toronto, are an NL-best 38-20 since
"I'd like to have a two-game lead with one to play," Phillies
manager Charlie Manuel said, laughing. "That way I don't have to
stay up and watch those West Coast games."
Utley played a major role in the three-game sweep of the Florida
Marlins, going 10-for-14 with three homers and lifting his average
10 points to .309.
"Baseball is a long season and you're going to have your ups
and downs. You just try to keep the bad streaks to a minimum,"
Utley said. "If we continue to play the way we are playing now, I
like our chances."
Since his 35-game hitting streak ended on Aug. 3, Utley had
struggled at times. His swing looked tired and slow.
"His bat is quick and he's got his balance back," Manuel said.
Philadelphia's Ryan Howard, who leads the major leagues in home
runs (58) and RBI (143), hit the top of the left-field fence in
the sixth inning, a drive that went for a double.
Hanley Ramirez, rookie Cody Ross, Wes Helms amd Mike Jacobs
homered for the Marlins, who have lost three straight and seven of
nine. Florida (76-80) is all but mathematically eliminated from
With 107 homers, Marlins rookies topped by one the previous
major league mark, set by Minnesota in 1982.
Jamie Moyer (4-2) gave up five runs and eight hits in six
innings -- including four runs and five extra-base hits in the
Scott Olsen (12-9) allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 2-3
Rollins and Utley hit two-run homers to start the comeback, the
latter sending a drive off the facing of the second deck in right
after shortstop Hanley Ramirez misplayed Shane Victorino's grounder
to shortstop for an error.
"Utley is a great hitter," Florida manager Joe Girardi said.
"You watch him hit and you see all the correct things he does at
the plate. He's a great player."
Jeff Conine and Pat Burrell singled with two outs and Coste hit
a three-run homer to left, his seventh homer of the season.
"I could have done cartwheels around the bases I was so
happy," Coste said. "That's definitely the biggest home run I've
had here, no question."
After Coste's homer, Olsen hit Abraham Nunez with a pitch and
was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner.
Olsen denied trying to hit Nunez.
"They were hitting the ball. You've got to move feet," he
said. "You've got to go inside and move them off the plate a
Utley hit a RBI single off Jose Garcia and added his career-best
31st homer, a solo drive in the sixth.
Ramirez led the game off with his 15th homer, Wes Helms hit an
RBI double and Ross had a two-run homer. Jacobs hit his 20th homer
in the ninth off Rick White.
Nunez made three tough plays at third, starting a nifty 5-4-3
double play that ended the fourth.
Ramirez hit his club-record sixth leadoff homer. He also
doubled to become just the fourth player since 1900 to reach at
least 45 doubles, 50 stolen bases and 110 runs scored, joining Ty
Cobb (1911), Tris Speaker (1912) and Craig Biggio (1998). ... The
Phillies also hit three homers in one inning on April 13, when
Rollins, Bobby Abreu and Utley connected at Atlanta. ... Garcia had
an infield single in the fourth, his first major league at-bat. ...
Olsen has given up a team-high 23 homers. ... Utley has seven
multihomer games this season.<