Phillies win behind 2 Utley homers

April 4, 2008 9:05:15 PM PDT
Chase Utley took his hitting tear against the Cincinnati Reds to a new season on Friday night, driving in three runs with a pair of homers that sent the Philadelphia Phillies to an 8-4 victory. Utley hit a two-run homer off Josh Fogg (0-1), who lasted only four innings in his Reds debut, and added a solo shot off left-hander Jeremy Affeldt for his 100th career homer.

The power-hitting second baseman has been at his best against the Reds lately, going 13-for-22 in his last six games against them with seven homers and 13 RBIs.

Pat Burrell also had a two-run homer for the Phillies, who pulled away to their second win after an 0-2 start. Six of their 10 hits went for extra bases.

Kyle Kendrick (1-0), who led NL rookies with 10 wins last season, had a tough time getting his first of the new season. The right-hander gave up four runs, eight hits and a pair of walks in five-plus innings, getting pulled from the game after 94 pitches.

Three relievers limited the Reds to one hit the rest of the way.

Ken Griffey Jr. drove in a pair of runs with a single and a double, passing Reggie Jackson for 16th on the career list with 1,702 RBIs. Frank Robinson is next at 1,812.

The Reds were short-handed at catcher after Javier Valentin left the game in the sixth inning with a pulled hamstring. He barely jogged out of the batter's box after hitting a single, and grabbed the back of his left leg when he reached first base.

Valentin was replaced by Paul Bako, the only healthy catcher on the roster. David Ross is on the disabled list, getting back in shape after back spasms wiped out most of his spring training.

Neither starter fared well after rain delayed the first pitch by an hour and 34 minutes.

Fogg, a 31-year-old pitcher with a 60-61 career record, needed 28 pitches to get through the first inning alone. Ryan Howard hit a sacrifice fly, and Burrell followed with a two-run homer.

Kendrick also was well off the mark in a 30-pitch first inning, but managed to avoid an implosion. Griffey singled home a run and the Reds loaded the bases with the help of a walk, but Kendrick got Joey Votto to end the threat on a comeback grounder.

Griffey doubled home a run in the third for his first multihit game of the season. He remains seven homers shy of No. 600.

Utley made the difference.

He homered into the right-field seats on an 0-1 pitch from Fogg in the third. Fogg used his thumb to dab sweat from his upper lip while he watched the ball sail into the seats.

Affeldt got ahead 0-2 in the count in the fifth, but Utley connected on a down-and-in breaking pitch for his third homer of the season. Utley has 14 multihomer games, the last two of them against Cincinnati.

Notes:
The Reds are 2-2 on their season-opening homestand. ... Kendrick also struggled in spring training, giving up 19 earned runs in 17 2-3 innings. ... Jimmy Rollins had a single and double off Fogg. He's 7-for-15 career off him. ... LH Mike Zagurski, who was honored as the best pitcher in the Phillies' farm system last year, had reconstructive elbow surgery. He will be sidelined for up to a year.


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