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Philadelphia at Chicago

Venue: Wrigley Field
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Chase Utley has provided more than enough for the Philadelphia Phillies in the first two games of this series against the Chicago Cubs.

Another such effort plus a solid outing from A.J. Burnett could give the Phillies a three-game sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday.

Utley put more distance from his pedestrian numbers in spring training - when he hit .217 with three RBIs - by homering for the second straight game and going 3 for 3 in Saturday's 2-0 victory for Philadelphia (3-2). The veteran second baseman, a lifetime .338 hitter (27 for 80) at Wrigley, is 10 for 21 with four extra-base hits while hitting safely in all five games.

''He looks good,'' said manager Ryne Sandberg of Utley. ''He's feeling good, he's in great shape and he's producing quality at-bats right now. He's very healthy and he looks good.''

Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva (0-2, 13.50 ERA) has been the one who's looked good in the head-to-head meetings with Utley, however, striking him out five times while holding him hitless in nine at-bats. Villanueva would like to extend that success in his first start of the season after yielding two runs and four hits in taking a pair of losses in as many appearances.

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 14 lifetime games against the Phillies but did not receive a decision in his only start back in 2011.

Domonic Brown, who drove in Utley for Philadelphia's other run Saturday with a fourth-inning single, is 4 for 7 with three RBIs in the series.

Burnett (0-0, 1.50) will try to keep first-year Cubs manager Rick Renteria winless at Wrigley. The only run he allowed against Texas on Tuesday came in the sixth inning, and it was enough to make the right-hander lament his effort after the Phillies lost 3-2 on a ninth-inning rally.

"Shutdown innings, you're going to hear that a lot," he told the team's official website after allowing seven hits in six innings. "That's what starters do. I think a shutdown inning in the sixth would've been huge. Would've kept them at bay a little bit. That sixth inning, you've got to shut them down."

He shut down the Cubs with varying degrees of success last year pitching for Pittsburgh, going 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts to move to 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 11 lifetime outings against them. The last two came at Wrigley, where he went 1-0 while yielding four runs and seven hits in 13 1-3 innings.

Chicago (1-4) has yet to score more than three runs in any game, and despite 10 hits Saturday, the Cubs went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and are 4 for 40 in such situations thus far. Renteria, though, is optimistic for a breakthrough after Emilio Bonifacio and Starlin Castro were a combined 5 for 9 at the top of the order and Anthony Rizzo also added two hits.

"You never stop talking about it until you start to understand it and get a good feel for it," Renteria told the Cubs' website. "I know we didn't come up with a victory today, but for me, it was a ballgame we were in the whole way."

Castro is 9 for 22 lifetime versus Burnett, while Rizzo is 3 for 15 with a homer.

Philadelphia's last three-game sweep at Wrigley came Aug. 11-13, 2009.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Philadelphia5th NL East7084.45519 ½ 3-7 L 2
Chi Cubs5th NL Central6886.442184-6 L 2
 
 
Injuries
Philadelphia
PlayerInjury
D. BrownHand
M. HollandsElbow
C. LeeElbow
J. PapelbonSuspension
J. RollinsHamstring
Chi Cubs
PlayerInjury
W. CastilloRib
S. CastroAnkle
J. McDonaldShoulder
J. RuggianoAnkle
R. SweeneyHamstring
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Aug 1LADCHC 8-2Hendricks Haren 
Aug 2LADLAD 5-2Wright Parker 
Aug 3LADCHC 7-3Jackson Beckett 
Sep 18CHCLAD 8-4Rodriguez Ramirez 
Sep 19CHCLAD 14-5Kershaw Jackson 
Sep 20CHC 1:05 PM EDT  
Sep 21CHC 2:20 PM EDT