A two-out triple by Chase Utley in the 10th inning sent home the winning run as the Phillies rallied for a 3-1 victory over the 1-9 Marlins. The win is the Phils' third in a row and improves their record to 5-5.Is Chase Utley's hitting success the best story to the early part of the baseball season? Better yet, is Utley's hitting and his tenacity on the base paths helping folks forget the last two seasons?
Utley went 1 for 5 in the Phillies win and his batting average dipped to .316. However, six of his 12 hits this season have been for extra bases. That's two doubles, two triples and two homers. That comes to a robust .632 slugging percentage through the early going.
Meanwhile, the bullpen delivered four shutout innings behind another solid start from lefty newcomer John Lannan. Jonathan Papelbon nailed down his second save in as many chances with a perfect 10th inning that was set up by Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams and Phillippe Aumont shutting down the Marlins.
In addition to pitching well, Lannan contributed a double to the offense. Dom Brown also doubled and Ryan Howard slugged a pair of doubles. For Howard, that's five hits in his last 12 at-bats. Three of those hits have gone for extra bases, which offsets 4-for-27 skid he started the season.
The Phillies and Marlins play the middle game of the three-game series on Saturday. Cole Hamels (0-2, 10.97) makes his third start of the season Saturday night against Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez (0-0, 1.80). Fernandez is just 20 years old.