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04/13/2014 6:36 PM EDT
Utley has 3 hits, HR gives Phils win over Marlins
PHILADELPHIA 4, MIAMI 3

By AARON BRACY
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Chase Utley is feeling healthy and his bat
certainly isn't hurting, either.

Utley extended his hot start with the tiebreaking homer among
three hits, sparking the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-3 victory
over the Miami Marlins on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

Utley raised his average to .500 through 10 games, with six
doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs. The five-time All-Star,
who missed two games with the flu, has a hit in each of his
games this season.

Knee issues the last few seasons knocked Utley off an All-Star
pace, but he's playing now as if those problems are behind him.

"I just see him in really good shape, moving really well on the
field defensively and running the bases," Philadelphia manager
Ryne Sandberg said. "He's staying so active on the bases. Maybe
that shows how well he's feeling. That's (knee problems) a
non-issue and he's having quality at-bats and seeing the ball
well. He's just in a real good zone. Even his outs are hard."

Utley, notorious for keeping things close to the vest, said he's
feeling no better or worse physically.

"I've had some decent days, feel OK," he said. "I feel fine,
like I normally do."

Will Nieves had three hits and two RBIs for Philadelphia, which
has won 13 of its last 16 games against Miami.

Garrett Jones homered and Casey McGehee had two hits and an RBI
for the Marlins, who lost their seventh straight. The Marlins
return home to face the Nationals on Monday after getting swept
on the six-game road trip through Washington and Philadelphia.

"Everyone has to take ownership for this trip," Miami manager
Mike Redmond said. "We've got to get better. There are areas we
have to improve on, but we're still battling. Nobody's going to
give up."

Utley broke a 3-all tie with two outs in the eighth by driving a
1-0 offering from Mike Dunn (0-1) into the seats in
right-center.

"Just finding some holes," Utley said. "Not trying to do too
much. Trying to put the ball in play and right now they're
falling."

A.J. Bastardo (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save
in four chances.

Kyle Kendrick has a sparkling career record against the Marlins,
going 12-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 21 career games coming in. In his
last 11, he was 9-0 with a 2.21 ERA. But he did not factor into
the decision Sunday after giving up three runs - two earned - on
six hits in six innings.

His counterpart, Henderson Alvarez, yielded three runs and 12
hits in six innings.

The Marlins took advantage of first baseman Ryan Howard's
fielding error to get a run in the first on McGehee's RBI single
and tacked on a run on in the second on Christian Yelich's
run-scoring single.

Jones launched his first homer of the season to deep right with
one out in the fifth to give Miami a 3-1 lead.

Philadelphia tied it in the bottom half on Nieves' two-out,
two-run double to right.

The Phillies requested an out call at home plate be reviewed in
the seventh inning.

Tony Gwynn Jr. was called out trying to score from first on
Utley's double to left. But Sandberg asked for the play to be
reviewed because he thought catcher Jeff Mathis was blocking the
plate with his left leg prior to Gwynn's slide.

Under the expanded replay format, umpires initiate a review of
the new rule covering collisions at home plate. After a
54-second delay the out call by homeplate umpire Mark Ripperger
was upheld.

Sandberg, though, believes there needs to be clarification to
the rule.

"I thought the catcher did not give the base runner a lane," he
said. "I saw the replay and I still say the leg was blocking it,
so Gwynn didn't have a lane to home plate. I felt like Gwynn had
to alter his slide because the plate was blocked, so there's
some confusion there."

Howard had just three hits in his last 17 at-bats before
homering to the opposite field with one out in the third to tie
it at 1. It was the second homer of the season for Howard.

Gwynn started in center field in place of Ben Revere for the
third straight game and had three hits. Revere struck out
swinging in the seventh as a pinch-hitter.

The Phillies, who entered leading the NL with 43 bases on balls,
walked six times against three Marlins pitchers.

NOTES: Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt debuted in the
Phillies broadcast booth during the game. Schmidt will serve as
a color analyst on Sunday home games this season. ... Prior to
the game, the Phillies optioned RHP Justin De Fratus to Triple-A
Lehigh Valley and recalled RHP Luis Garcia. De Fratus allowed
four runs in five innings (7.20 ERA) over four games this
season. ... Phillies RHP Roberto Hernandez (1-0, 4.35) opposes
Atlanta RHP Ervin Santana (1-0, 0.00) when the teams open a
four-game series in Philadelphia at 7:05 p.m. Monday. ...
Marlins LHP Brad Hand (0-0, 3.24) faces RHP Jordan Zimmerman
(0-0, 8.10) Monday. ... Philadelphia 3B Cody Asche went 0 for 2
and is hitless in 10 at-bats.

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