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Washington at Philadelphia

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Washington (6-15)000200100371
Philadelphia (9-11) «01201302x9120

Utley's productive bat leads Phillies to fifth straight win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Jon Lieber is more comfortable and far more productive in the starting rotation than the bullpen.

Lieber limited the Nationals to two runs in six innings, Chase Utley was 5-for-5 with three RBI, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Washington 9-3 Wednesday night for their fifth straight win.

Jimmy Rollins hit his NL-leading eighth homer and Ryan Howard added a two-run shot, helping the Phillies (9-11) move closer to .500 after a terrible start.

Lieber (1-0) gave up five hits, striking out five in his second start since moving into the rotation after ace Brett Myers was sent to the bullpen to bolster a struggling relief corps.

Lieber tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings at Cincinnati last Friday. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings in the bullpen, but has a 1.54 ERA in his two starts.

"I was never really worried about being in the bullpen," Lieber said. "I was fine down there. (Starting) gives me more time to get ready."

Myers pitched a scoreless eighth to preserve a four-run lead before Rollins connected to make it 9-3 in the bottom half of the inning.

Utley had three singles and two doubles for his first career five-hit game. He raised his average to .296 from .250.

"It's all about finding holes," Utley said. "I'm just trying to put the ball in play and hit it hard."

John Patterson (0-4) retired the first two batters in the third inning before Utley doubled off the left-field wall. Left fielder Robert Fick turned the wrong way on the ball, though he probably didn't have a play.

Howard then snapped a 1-for-9 slump with his third homer to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead. Howard hit a straight fastball into the right-field seats. The reigning NL MVP is hitting .213 with 23 strikeouts in 61 at-bats.

The Phillies scored three times in the sixth to extend their lead to 7-2. One run came in when second baseman Ronnie Belliard dropped Shane Victorino's popup to shallow right field for an error with the bases loaded. Utley followed with a two-run single to left.

"He's warming up. He's hitting the ball all over the field," manager Charlie Manuel said of Utley. "He's going more to the opposite field and he's pulling the ball when it's middle-in."

Lieber retired the first nine batters, getting all five of his strikeouts. But Felipe Lopez singled to start the fourth and Belliard followed with an infield single. After Ryan Zimmerman hit into a double play, Dmitri Young looped a single just past second baseman Utley's glove to cut it to 3-1. Austin Kearns followed with an RBI double that nearly cleared the center-field fence to make it 3-2.

Utley ripped a two-out double down the right-field line to score Rollins, giving the Phillies a 4-2 lead in the fifth.

Patterson, the Nationals' struggling No. 1 starter, gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"He's making progress," manager Manny Acta said. "There was no drop-off in his velocity like his other outings. We didn't play very good defense behind him."

Notes

  • Aaron Rowand extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a second-inning single, tying his career-best with the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
  • Fick made up for his earlier blunder with a sliding catch to rob Wes Helms with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth.
  • Phillies OF Michael Bourn got his first career extra-base hit, a triple in the eighth inning.
  • Rollins' eight homers are the most he's ever hit in one month.
 
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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It's a perfect night for Chase Utley; five hits in five plate appearances to go with three RBI. (AP)
It's a perfect night for Chase Utley; five hits in five plate appearances to go with three RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

C. Utley
AB 5
R 1
H 5
HR 0
RBI 3
Philadelphia

J. Rollins
AB 4
R 3
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Washington Nationals
Felipe Lopez, SS4110022 .300
Ronnie Belliard, 2B4020000 .278
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4010012 .233
Dmitri Young, 1B3111111 .260
Austin Kearns, RF3111111 .275
Ryan Church, CF3000101 .293
Robert Fick, LF2000010 .143
   a- Michael Restovich, PH1000001 .267
    Chris Snelling, LF1000010 .227
Brian Schneider, C4011000 .182
John Patterson, P2000000 .000
    Micah Bowie, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Wagner, P0000000 .000
   b- D'Angelo Jimenez, PH0000100 .077
    Levale Speigner, P0000000 .000
    Jesus Colome, P0000000 .000
   c- Jesus Flores, PH1000011 .200
Totals3237348  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Fick in the 7th
b-walked for Wagner in the 7th
c-struck out for Colome in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (5, Lieber), Austin Kearns (7, Lieber), Brian Schneider (2, Rosario)
RBI - Dmitri Young (10), Austin Kearns (3), Brian Schneider (11)
2-OUT RBI - Dmitri Young (4), Austin Kearns (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Ronnie Belliard (3, Misplayed grounder)
Washington Nationals
John Patterson (L,0-4) 5.1866331 7.71
Micah Bowie 0.1110110 3.48
Ryan Wagner 0.1000100 5.84
Levale Speigner 1000000 3.48
Jesus Colome 1322121 2.81
IBB - Howard by John Patterson
WP - John Patterson (4)
Pitches-Strikes - John Patterson 100-60, Micah Bowie 18-9, Ryan Wagner 7-2, Levale Speigner 8-5, Jesus Colome 27-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Patterson 6-7, Micah Bowie 1-0, Levale Speigner 2-1
Batters Faced - John Patterson 27, Micah Bowie 4, Ryan Wagner 1, Levale Speigner 3, Jesus Colome 7
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS4312101 .295
Shane Victorino, RF5000011 .282
Chase Utley, 2B5153000 .296
Ryan Howard, 1B3112223 .213
Pat Burrell, LF2110200 .344
    Matt Smith, P0000000 .000
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
    Abraham Nunez, 3B1000012 .136
Wes Helms, 3B4000014 .290
    Brett Myers, P0000000 .000
   a- Jayson Werth, PH1000012 .250
    Francisco Rosario, P0000000 .000
Aaron Rowand, CF4010000 .365
Carlos Ruiz, C4111000 .296
Jon Lieber, P2010001 .200
   b- Greg Dobbs, PH0100100 .174
    Michael Bourn, LF1110000 .231
Totals36912866  
a-struck out for Myers in the 8th
b-walked for Lieber in the 6th
Batting
2B - Chase Utley 2 (13, Patterson, Patterson), Pat Burrell (5, Patterson)
3B - Michael Bourn (1, Colome)
HR - Jimmy Rollins (8, Colome), Ryan Howard (3, Patterson)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins 2 (16), Chase Utley 3 (16), Ryan Howard 2 (12), Carlos Ruiz (8)
2-OUT RBI - Chase Utley (6), Ryan Howard 2 (7)
SB - Jimmy Rollins (3, 2nd base off Patterson/Schneider)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Rollins-Utley-Howard, Myers-Utley-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
Jon Lieber (W,1-0) 6522050 3.21
Matt Smith 0.2011300 11.25
Geoff Geary (H,4) 0.1000010 2.61
Brett Myers 1100100 7.91
Francisco Rosario 1100020 4.15
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lieber 86-64, Matt Smith 23-9, Geoff Geary 4-3, Brett Myers 18-10, Francisco Rosario 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lieber 7-5, Matt Smith 2-0, Brett Myers 2-0, Francisco Rosario 1-0
Batters Faced - Jon Lieber 22, Matt Smith 5, Geoff Geary 1, Brett Myers 4, Francisco Rosario 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23526
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Jerry Crawford, Third Base - Brian O'Nora