The Philadelphia Phillies didn’t seem to miss a beat in their first game without their two-time All-Star second baseman.
Philadelphia (53-49) won the series opener 8-1 in a rain-shortened seven innings Friday, the same day it learned Utley could miss three-to-four weeks after undergoing surgery to have a pin placed in his broken right hand.
Utley’s .336 batting average, major league-leading 41 doubles, 17 home runs and 82 RBIs have been vital to a Philadelphia offense which leads the NL with 556 runs, and is averaging 7.1 runs in 14 games since the All-Star break.
“We have a key person get hurt and that’s a big loss for us,” said Philadelphia outfielder Michael Bourn, who went 4-for-4 on Friday. “We’ve got to patch it together and move on.”
To help patch the lineup together, the Phillies acquired second baseman Tadahito Iguchi from the Chicago White Sox on Friday for minor league pitcher Michael Dubee. Iguchi, who is batting .251 with six homers, 17 doubles and 31 RBIs this season, will likely take over at second once he joins the team Saturday.
Pat Burrell helped shoulder some of the offense Friday by hitting his 13th homer of the season. Burrell is 7-for-10 with seven RBIs in his last four games.
Philadelphia has won six of seven but remains in third place in the NL East, four games behind the front running New York Mets.
J.D. Durbin (2-2, 5.76 ERA) looks to carry some momentum from the best start of his brief career when he takes the ball for the Phillies.
Durbin, who is on his fourth team in 2007, threw a five-hitter in Sunday’s 9-0 victory over San Diego.
The right-hander has yielded just one run in 13 innings since joining Philadelphia’s starting rotation on July 17, causing his ERA to drop from 13.50.
“A complete game shutout, it was an indescribable feeling,” said Durbin, who has made only four career starts and has never faced the Pirates. “The organization gave me a shot to settle in and worked with me long enough to actually stick in the big leagues.”
Pittsburgh (42-59) counters with rookie Shane Youman (2-2, 3.24), who is also coming off his best start in the majors although he didn’t earn a win.
Youman allowed one run and four hits in eight innings on Sunday, but received no help from his offense and took the loss in a 1-0 defeat to Houston.
“I just had a good rhythm,” Youman told the Pirates’ official Web site. “I felt good on every pitch. This was just one of those days where I felt good, where everything was working.”
Since being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on July 2, the left-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his four starts.
This will be his first start against the Phillies.
The Pirates have won just two of 13 games since the All-Star break, and own the worst record in the NL.