PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Phillies got some major production out of the middle of their order on the way to an easy win.
Ryan Howard had two hits and two RBIs with a double for Philadelphia, which had scored just two runs in 35 2-3 innings entering Wednesday. The Phillies topped the Astros 2-1 in 15 innings on Tuesday night.
Utley, Howard and Marlon Byrd - the Phillies' Nos. 3-5 hitters - had five hits and six RBIs.
''It makes a big difference all the way around,'' Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. ''That becomes contagious.''
David Buchanan (6-5) was called up again to replace Cliff Lee, who is on the disabled list for a second time because of a left elbow strain sustained last Thursday.
Buchanan, whose strategy was to get ahead of hitters, gave up three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks. He filled in for Lee during the left-hander's previous two-month stint on the DL, but made his last three starts in the minor leagues.
''Steady, gave us a chance to win,'' Sandberg said. ''He doesn't get rattled out there. He hangs in there.''
Brad Peacock (3-8) struggled in his first big-league start since being sent to the minors to work on his fastball command. He allowed eight runs and seven hits in five innings, and lost his third straight start.
The right-hander had an 18.00 ERA in his previous two starts with the Astros, which landed him in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Phillies jumped on Peacock in the first inning for five runs and four hits, highlighted by Howard's two-run double. Buchanan drove in the final run of the frame with his first major-league hit in his 18th at-bat.
''I couldn't get into a groove,'' Peacock said. ''I was probably working a little too quick. I was a little amped up.''
Utley's homer in the fourth gave Philadelphia an 8-2 lead.
''It was a bad pitch to Utley, but after that I felt great,'' Peacock said. ''But the numbers are the numbers.''
Altuve had two hits with an RBI, giving him his major league-leading 48th multi-hit game.
Astros right-hander Colin McHugh (4-9, 3.32) faces Phillies right-hander Roberto Hernandez (6-8, 3.87) as the teams wrap up their three-game set on Thursday night. Hernandez will be trying for his third straight win after allowing just two earned runs in 15 innings over his last two starts. McHugh, who will be making his first career start against the Phillies, entered Wednesday ranked fifth in the AL in opponents' batting average (.203) and second in strikeouts per nine innings (10.14).
Phillies: Lee's season appears to be over. Although no announcement on his status has been made, Lee's locker in the clubhouse has been cleaned out. Lee was making his second start last Thursday after a two-month stint on the DL when he was hurt again.
Astros: Rookie outfielder George Springer, on the DL since July 20 with a strained quad, played in his third rehab game with Quad Cities on Wednesday night. Springer doubled but was lifted after feeling a pull, Houston manager Bo Porter said. The AL Rookie of the Month in May is batting .231 with 20 homers and 51 RBIs in 78 games with Houston. Before Wednesday's game, Springer was on pace for a possible return on Thursday although Friday's home game against Texas is more likely.
OUT FROM HIS KNEES
Second-base umpire Jeff Nelson made an out call from his knees in the first inning after falling while trying to get in position when Buchanan slid into second. Sandberg challenged Nelson's decision but the call stood after a 3-minute, 12-second replay delay.
Buchanan thought he was safe but said, ''I think for now I'm going to stay on first base.''
DANCING WITH THE PHANATIC
Third-base umpire Laz Diaz showed off his dancing skills during a skit with the Phillie Phanatic following the fifth inning. Dressed in a red and black costume with Spanish music blaring, the Phanatic danced Salsa style in front of Diaz. Diaz at first made no expression and twice turned away from the Philadelphia mascot before getting in on the dance toward the end of what seemed to be an unscripted act.
FOLTYNEWICZ WORKS OUT OF JAM
Astros reliever Mike Foltynewicz worked out of a jam in the seventh inning in his second major league appearance. The right-hander allowed three straight hits to start the frame, capped by Byrd's RBI single, before getting Grady Sizemore to ground into a double play and Wil Nieves to strike out swinging. It was the first career run allowed for Foltynewicz, who pitched 2-3 scoreless innings in his big-league debut on Saturday.
Foltynewicz came back out for the eighth and gave up another run when Revere tripled and scored on a wild pitch.
BULLPEN ON A ROLL
Philadelphia relievers Jake Diekman, Justin De Fratus and Cesar Jimenez combined to allow one hit in 2 2-3 scoreless innings in a strong performance from the Phillies bullpen for the second straight night. In Tuesday's win, the Philadelphia relievers allowed one hit in eight scoreless innings and struck out 14.