Minnesota at Philadelphia

W: J. Blanton (2-5) L: N. Blackburn (6-4)
HR: MIN - N. Punto (1)   PHI - C. Utley (11),R. Howard (12),R. Howard (13)

Howard hits two jacks to send Phillies past Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley told everyone he wasn't hurt and backed it up with a strong all-around performance.

Utley homered, Ryan Howard went deep twice and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Minnesota Twins 9-5 on Friday night.

Utley had two hits, drove in four runs and played outstanding defense after denying before the game that he's injured. First base coach Davey Lopes told Baseball Prospectus that Utley "has been hampered by a little bit of a knee injury."

"It's always nice to get results, get on base and help the team win," Utley said.

Joe Blanton (2-5) threw six effective innings for the Phillies, who have won three straight and four of five after a 5-14 skid dropped them into third place in the NL East.

Howard went 4 for 4 with three RBI and set a career high with four extra-base hits, falling a single short of the cycle.

"We know the scouting report and we know what we're supposed to do," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Tonight we just didn't execute anything against him. He's a great hitter. You throw the ball up there like we did to him, he's going to hit it."

Nick Punto hit a two-run shot for the AL Central-leading Twins.

Blanton gave up three runs and seven hits. The right-hander didn't allow a hit until Jason Kubel led off the fifth with a triple and was thrown out by Utley trying to stretch it into an inside-the-park homer.

Nick Blackburn (6-4) allowed eight runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings in his shortest outing since last Aug. 11.

"I left some balls up," Blackburn said. "Every time I left a ball up, it was hit."

Utley admitted he has occasional pain in his right knee, but emphasized it's not serious and isn't the reason for a terrible slump that has plagued him since late April.

The four-time All-Star second baseman showed no signs of any injury running the bases or playing defense. He made a diving grab to rob Denard Span of a hit in the third, and turned a nifty double play after barehanding shortstop Wilson Valdez's toss in the sixth.

"He comes to the ballpark and works as hard if he gets no hits," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I know he's going to hit because he works so hard."

The Phillies scored three runs off Blackburn in the first and chased him with five in the second.

Utley lined an RBI single to right, Howard ripped a run-scoring triple into the right-field corner and Jayson Werth's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

That was a nice cushion for Blanton, who entered with a 7.28 ERA and only had two quality starts among his first eight outings.

"You have a little wiggle room to attack the zone, but you still don't want to change your approach," Blanton said.

Each of Philadelphia's runs in the second came with two outs. Placido Polanco hit an RBI single before Utley connected for a three-run shot. Howard drove the next pitch deep into the right-field stands.

Utley had gone 88 at-bats since his last homer on May 20 against Chicago. It was the second time in three games and second time all season the Phillies had consecutive homers.

Howard hit one to straightaway center off Ron Mahay in the fifth for his 24th career multihomer game and first of the year.

Scott Mathieson allowed two runs and recorded two outs in the ninth for Philadelphia in his first appearance in the majors since 2006. He had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow twice and missed all of 2007 and 2008.

  • Phillies C Carlos Ruiz was taken to the hospital for an exam after getting hit in the head with a broken bat in the eighth inning. There was no immediate word on his injury. He walked off the field on his own.
  • Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins , sidelined by a calf injury, was expected to play nine innings for Single-A Clearwater on Friday and Saturday. He could rejoin the team soon barring a setback.
  • Phillies RHP Ryan Madson threw 25 pitches in his first bullpen session since breaking his right toe on April 28.
  • Shane Victorino's steal in the first was the first against Blackburn in 101 2/3 innings, dating to last Sept. 11.
  • Utley came in batting .229 with four homers and 12 RBI in 47 games since April 23.
  • Michael Cuddyer started at 3B for the Twins for the first time since 2005.
  • A crowd of 45,120 was the 72nd straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park.
Copyright 2017 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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There is no shift that will work against Ryan Howard when he puts the baseball into the stands. (AP)
There is no shift that will work against Ryan Howard when he puts the baseball into the stands. (AP)

Players of the Game

R. Howard
AB 4
R 3
H 4
HR 2

N. Punto
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF5010013 .276
Orlando Hudson, 2B5001000 .297
Joe Mauer, C5110001 .307
Justin Morneau, 1B3010100 .336
Michael Cuddyer, 3B4021001 .278
Jason Kubel, RF4010002 .248
Delmon Young, LF4230000 .302
Nick Punto, SS3222101 .246
Nick Blackburn, P0000000 .000
    Jesse Crain, P1000011 .000
   a- Jim Thome, PH0000100 .243
    Ron Mahay, P0000000 .000
    Brian Duensing, P0000000 .000
   b- Brendan Harris, PH1000000 .159
    Matt Guerrier, P0000000 .000
    Alex Burnett, P0000000 .000
   c- Danny Valencia, PH1000002 .342
a-walked for Crain in the 5th
b-grounded out for Duensing in the 7th
c-fouled out for Burnett in the 9th
3B - Jason Kubel (1, Blanton)
HR - Nick Punto (1, Blanton)
RBI - Orlando Hudson (17), Michael Cuddyer (32), Nick Punto 2 (18)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Morneau-Punto-Crain, Hudson-Punto-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn (L,6-4) 1.2688322 5.80
Jesse Crain 2.1000020 4.82
Ron Mahay 1311001 4.66
Brian Duensing 1000000 1.63
Matt Guerrier 1100100 1.80
Alex Burnett 1100100 2.70
HBP - Valdez (by Jesse Crain)
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 50-25, Jesse Crain 22-16, Ron Mahay 20-10, Brian Duensing 9-8, Matt Guerrier 19-12, Alex Burnett 17-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 1-2, Jesse Crain 2-2, Ron Mahay 1-1, Brian Duensing 2-1, Matt Guerrier 3-0, Alex Burnett 1-2
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 14, Jesse Crain 7, Ron Mahay 5, Brian Duensing 3, Matt Guerrier 5, Alex Burnett 5
Philadelphia Phillies
Shane Victorino, CF3200201 .252
Placido Polanco, 3B5121011 .312
Chase Utley, 2B5224002 .260
Ryan Howard, 1B4343000 .293
Jayson Werth, RF2011101 .283
Raul Ibanez, LF3000122 .242
Carlos Ruiz, C4010002 .275
    Brian Schneider, C0000000 .278
Wilson Valdez, SS3110001 .248
Joe Blanton, P3000012 .250
    Chad Durbin, P0000000 .000
    J.C. Romero, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Dobbs, PH0000100 .154
    Scott Mathieson, P0000000 .000
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
a-walked for Romero in the 8th
2B - Ryan Howard (12, Guerrier)
3B - Ryan Howard (2, Blackburn)
HR - Chase Utley (11, Blackburn), Ryan Howard 2 (13, Blackburn, Mahay)
SF - Jayson Werth (4)
RBI - Placido Polanco (25), Chase Utley 4 (30), Ryan Howard 3 (49), Jayson Werth (41)
2-OUT RBI - Placido Polanco (9), Chase Utley 3 (10), Ryan Howard (23)
SB - Shane Victorino (16, 2nd base off Blackburn/Mauer)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Shane Victorino 1
DP - Valdez-Utley-Howard
Philadelphia Phillies
Joe Blanton (W,2-5) 6733311 6.96
Chad Durbin 1000010 3.06
J.C. Romero 1100000 2.92
Scott Mathieson 0.2322000 27.00
Brad Lidge 0.1000000 1.93
WP - Scott Mathieson (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 104-64, Chad Durbin 13-8, J.C. Romero 11-8, Scott Mathieson 22-13, Brad Lidge 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 12-3, Chad Durbin 2-0, J.C. Romero 1-2, Scott Mathieson 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 26, Chad Durbin 3, J.C. Romero 4, Scott Mathieson 5, Brad Lidge 1
Game Information
Attendance - 45120
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Todd Tichenor, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Tim McClelland