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Utley Helps Phillies Stay Above Dodgers

September 25, 2006|From the Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Chase Utley has regained his swing, and that can only help the Philadelphia Phillies' quest for a postseason berth.

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, on Sunday for their fifth straight win.

Jimmy Rollins, Chris Coste and Utley homered during a seven-run third inning, with Coste hitting a tiebreaking three-run drive.

Philadelphia, which has won 10 of its last 12 games, remained half a game ahead of the 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 July 26.

"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 home runs 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."

Philadelphia's Ryan Howard, who leads the major leagues in home runs (58) and RBIs (143), hit the top of the left-field fence in the sixth inning, a drive that went for a double.

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