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Houston at Philadelphia

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Houston0000010100250
Philadelphia «0001010001350

Utley's walk-off homer in 10th ends Phillies' struggles against Astros

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley feels at ease in the playoff push.

Utley's home run with two outs in the 10th inning gave the Philadelphia Phillies a 3-2 win over Houston on Monday, their first over the Astros in more than two years.

"I think it's pretty relaxed around here," Utley said. "We're having a great time. We're playing great baseball so I think that helps. I don't feel any pressure around here."

Roger Clemens was long gone by the time this one ended, forced out of his 15th start of the season with a strained right groin. The Astros said the 44-year-old right-hander is day to day.

After both teams wasted opportunities to win late in the game, Utley hit his 25th homer to right off Dave Borkowski (1-2). The second baseman was mobbed by his teammates and helped the Phillies snap a 12-game losing streak to Houston that dated back to May 18, 2003.

"I guess that's how you beat them," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Rick White (3-1) pitched a scoreless 10th for the win, retiring the final two batters he faced to leave a runner stranded on third. The Phillies remained 1½ games behind San Diego, the NL wild-card leader.

Clemens, 6-4 with a 2.27 ERA, gave up one run, struck out six and walked two. Clemens felt something on the next-to-last pitch he threw in the fifth inning.

"I feel better. The tenderness I felt has relaxed," he said. "I'm still on for Saturday unless something changes. We'll give it a chance to heal and see what happens."

Charlton Jimerson hit a pinch-hit home run in his first major league at-bat for the Astros and Ryan Howard hit his major-league leading 53rd homer for the Phillies.

Howard earned some surprising respect leading off the ninth when Chad Qualls intentionally walked him. But Qualls worked out of a bases loaded, one-out jam, striking out pinch-hitter David Dellucci and retiring pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez on a pop-up to first base to send the game into extra innings.

"We're not going to let him hit one out of the park," Astros manager Phil Garner said.

It was the second consecutive extra-inning game for the Phillies, who lost to Atlanta in 11 innings in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader. Philadelphia also played back-to-back doubleheaders over the weekend, and came right back for a 3:05 p.m. ET start Monday.

Howard's 53rd homer of the season off Russ Springer in the sixth knocked off the facing of the second deck in right field. Much like when he homered in his first three at-bats against Atlanta in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, Howard earned a standing ovation and chants of "M-V-P!" as he rounded the bases.

Howard also extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

"Hopefully this win can set the tone for the rest of the series," Howard said. "We'll try and ride it out down the stretch and try and make the playoffs."

Cole Hamels was absolutely fantastic again, retiring the first 17 batters and pitching like the future ace the Phillies expect him to be. The hard-throwing lefty was working the corners and getting strikes on fastballs, then finishing batters off with offspeed pitches.

He struck out the side in the fifth, with Jason Lane thinking he walked, only to get racked up on the slow stuff. As Hamels walked off the mound, the fans in the first few rows stood and applauded.

Hamels, who singled off Clemens, tried blocking out the packed crowd and The Rocket's presence.

"It's one of those things you think about before the game, but when you get in the moment of stepping between the lines, it disappears," Hamels said.

Hamels seemed poised to close out the Astros and record his eighth win until Aubrey Huff hit a solo shot leading off the eighth, tying the score at 2-2.

"If we can't get to .500, we can't even put 'wild card' in our vocabulary," Garner said.

The Phillies touched Clemens for a run in the fourth, but missed their chance for a big inning. Clemens fanned Pat Burrell on a called strike at the knees with the bases loaded. He hit Jeff Conine in the left shoulder to make it 1-0, but Chris Coste grounded into a double play to end the threat.

Jimerson pinch hit for Clemens with two outs in the sixth inning and broke up Hamels' perfect game with a home run in his first major league at-bat. Jimerson hit a shot to deep center field near Ashburn Alley, the outfield entertainment area.

Notes

  • The Phillies recalled LHP Matt Smith from Class A Clearwater and he pitched a scoreless ninth. Smith was acquired from the Yankees as part of the Bobby Abreu deal. Smith made two appearances at Clearwater and struck out all six batters he faced.
  • The game was a sellout with a crowd of 44,674, including more than 10,000 tickets sold on Monday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Chase Utley is surrounded by his teammates after hitting the game-winning jack in the 10th inning.  (AP)
Chase Utley is surrounded by his teammates after hitting the game-winning jack in the 10th inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

C. Utley
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
Houston

A. Huff
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B4000000 .255
Chris Burke, LF4010020 .285
Lance Berkman, 1B4000011 .304
Jason Lane, RF3000010 .210
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   a- Mike Lamb, PH1000011 .307
    Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
    Humberto Quintero, C0000000 .250
Aubrey Huff, 3B-RF4121020 .271
    Willy Taveras, PR-CF0000000 .276
Eric Bruntlett, CF-RF3010010 .260
Adam Everett, SS3000021 .236
Brad Ausmus, C3000001 .228
   b- Orlando Palmeiro, PH1000001 .216
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
Roger Clemens, P1000000 .048
   c- Charlton Jimerson, PH11110001.000
    Russ Springer, P0000000 .000
    Morgan Ensberg, 3B1000001 .230
Totals332520106 
a-struck out for Miller in the 9th
b-grounded out for Ausmus in the 10th
c-homered for Clemens in the 6th
Batting
2B - Aubrey Huff (22, White)
HR - Aubrey Huff (16, Hamels), Charlton Jimerson (1, Hamels)
SH - Eric Bruntlett (2), Adam Everett (9)
RBI - Aubrey Huff (56), Charlton Jimerson (1)
2-OUT RBI - Charlton Jimerson (1)
SB - Chris Burke (10, 2nd base off Smith/Coste)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Everett-Biggio-Berkman
Houston Astros
Roger Clemens 5111260 2.27
Russ Springer 1111001 3.86
Dan Wheeler 1.1100010 2.64
Trever Miller 0.2000010 3.43
Chad Qualls 1100210 4.19
Dave Borkowski (L,1-2) 0.2111001 4.15
IBB - Howard by Chad Qualls, by Coste
HBP - Utley (by Roger Clemens), Conine (by Roger Clemens)
Pitches-Strikes - Roger Clemens 71-42, Russ Springer 16-10, Dan Wheeler 24-15, Trever Miller 8-5, Chad Qualls 20-9, Dave Borkowski 15-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roger Clemens 4-4, Russ Springer 1-2, Dan Wheeler 1-2
Batters Faced - Roger Clemens 19, Russ Springer 4, Dan Wheeler 5, Trever Miller 2, Chad Qualls 6, Dave Borkowski 3
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5010021 .280
Shane Victorino, CF4100101 .292
Chase Utley, 2B4111021 .307
Ryan Howard, 1B2111200 .309
Pat Burrell, LF3000023 .257
   a- Joe Thurston, PH1000001 .267
    Rick White, P0000000 .000
Jeff Conine, RF3011010 .265
Chris Coste, C3000101 .331
Abraham Nunez, 3B3000000 .197
   b- David Dellucci, PH1000013 .292
    Chris Roberson, LF0000000 .194
Cole Hamels, P2010000 .143
   c- Randall Simon, PH1000010 .500
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .182
    Matt Smith, P0000000 .000
   d- Jose Hernandez, PH-3B1000003 .275
Totals333534914 
a-popped out-bunting for Burrell in the 9th
b-struck out for Nunez in the 9th
c-struck out for Hamels in the 8th
d-popped out for Smith in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jeff Conine (22, Qualls)
HR - Chase Utley (25, Borkowski), Ryan Howard (53, Springer)
RBI - Chase Utley (84), Ryan Howard (134), Jeff Conine (52)
2-OUT RBI - Chase Utley (25), Ryan Howard (51)
SB - Jimmy Rollins (33, 2nd base off Miller/Ausmus)
Team LOB - 7
Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels 8322082 4.33
Ryan Madson 0.1100000 5.79
Matt Smith 0.2000010 0.00
Rick White (W,3-1) 1100010 5.00
Pitches-Strikes - Cole Hamels 99-68, Ryan Madson 7-5, Matt Smith 13-8, Rick White 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cole Hamels 9-7, Ryan Madson 1-0, Matt Smith 1-0, Rick White 2-0
Batters Faced - Cole Hamels 27, Ryan Madson 2, Matt Smith 2, Rick White 4
Game Information
Attendance - 44674
Game Time - 2:54
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Kevin Causey