Utley's 4 RBIs lead Phillies over Reds 12-5

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Philadelphia Phillies&#39; outfielders, from left, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth, celebrate as they walk in after the Phillies defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 in a baseball game Sunday, July 12, 2009, in Philadelphia. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Tom Mihalek&#41;  </span></div>
May 21, 2009 1:16:31 PM PDT
Chase Utley homered and drove in four runs, and the Philadelphia Phillies' powerful offense overcame another disappointing performance by a starter on Thursday in a 12-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Utley had a two-run single and a double off Micah Owings (3-5), who got nine outs and showed the strain of throwing a lot of innings lately. Utley also had one of the Phillies' four solo homers - Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez connected, as well.

Jimmy Rollins had four hits, scored twice and drove in a run as he and Utley - the top two batters in the order - led the NL's highest-scoring offense.

Joe Blanton (2-3) got the win despite letting most of a six-run lead slip away. The right-hander gave up five runs in five innings, including a three-run homer by Brandon Phillips that forced the Phillies to use their bullpen early.

The defending World Series champions have a major concern. Their starting rotation has a 6.31 ERA that's worst in the majors and has given up 46 homers, the most in the majors. The Phillies have spent the first two months of the season trying to outscore their opponents.

For the most part, they've pulled it off. The Phillies have won six of their last seven games, all on the road, heading into a weekend interleague series at Yankee Stadium.

The Reds, who host Cleveland in the Ohio Series starting Friday, have dropped five of six while watching their starting staff take a few hits. Edinson Volquez had to leave a game Saturday in San Diego because of back spasms, and hasn't pitched again. That game turned into a 16-inning loss, with Owings coming in on three days of rest to throw 5 2-3 innings.

Owings looked tired on Thursday. He needed 71 pitches to get through three rough innings, leaving with a 5-0 deficit. Utley's solo homer off Ramon Ramirez made it 6-0 in the fourth.

Utley added a sacrifice fly in the sixth that blunted the Reds' comeback. Howard led off the seventh inning with his fourth homer in the last seven games, and the Phillies scored three more in the inning, pulling away.

Notes: The Phillies are 14-5 on the road, the best winning percentage in the majors. ... Utley's career high is six RBIs last May 26 against Colorado. ... Ibanez has five homers in the last seven games. ... Blanton has struggled in his last three starts, giving up 15 runs in 18 innings. ... RH Chan Ho Park made his first appearance since being demoted to the bullpen on Tuesday. ... Reds 1B Joey Votto was diagnosed with an inner ear infection. He'll work out with the team on Friday and could return over the weekend.

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