Phillies 10, Marlins 7
Utley homered twice and drove in four runs, and the surging Philadelphia Phillies overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Florida Marlins 10-7 Sunday for their fifth straight win.
Philadelphia, which has won 10 of its last 12 games, remained a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the wild-card race. The Phillies (82-73), who haven’t made it to the postseason since losing the 1993 World Series to Toronto, are an NL-best 38-20 since July 26.
“I’d like to have a two-game lead with one to play,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, laughing. “That way I don’t have to stay up and watch those West Coast games.”
Utley played a major role in the three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins, going 10-for-14 with three homers and lifting his average 10 points to .309.
“Baseball is a long season and you’re going to have your ups and downs. You just try to keep the bad streaks to a minimum,” Utley said. “If we continue to play the way we are playing now, I like our chances.”
Since his 35-game hitting streak ended on Aug. 3, Utley had struggled at times. His swing looked tired and slow.
“His bat is quick and he’s got his balance back,” Manuel said.
Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard, who leads the major leagues in home runs (58) and RBIs (143), hit the top of the left-field fence in the sixth inning, a drive that went for a double.
Hanley Ramirez, rookie Cody Ross, Wes Helms amd Mike Jacobs homered for the Marlins, who have lost three straight and seven of nine. Florida (76-80) is all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
With 107 homers, Marlins rookies topped by one the previous major league mark, set by Minnesota in 1982.
Jamie Moyer (4-2) gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings— including four runs and five extra-base hits in the first.
Scott Olsen (12-9) allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings.
Rollins and Utley hit two-run homers to start the comeback, the latter sending a drive off the facing of the second deck in right after shortstop Hanley Ramirez misplayed Shane Victorino’s grounder to shortstop for an error.
“Utley is a great hitter,” Florida manager Joe Girardi said. “You watch him hit and you see all the correct things he does at the plate. He’s a great player.”
Jeff Conine and Pat Burrell singled with two outs and Coste hit a three-run homer to left, his seventh homer of the season.
“I could have done cartwheels around the bases I was so happy,” Coste said. “That’s definitely the biggest home run I’ve had here, no question.”
After Coste’s homer, Olsen hit Abraham Nunez with a pitch and was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner.
Olsen denied trying to hit Nunez.
“They were hitting the ball. You’ve got to move feet,” he said. “You’ve got to go inside and move them off the plate a little.”
Utley hit a RBI single off Jose Garcia and added his career-best 31st homer, a solo drive in the sixth.
Ramirez led the game off with his 15th homer, Wes Helms hit an RBI double and Ross had a two-run homer. Jacobs hit his 20th homer in the ninth off Rick White.
Nunez made three tough plays at third, starting a nifty 5-4-3 double play that ended the fourth.
Ramirez hit his club-record sixth leadoff homer. He also doubled to become just the fourth player since 1900 to reach at least 45 doubles, 50 stolen bases and 110 runs scored, joining Ty Cobb (1911), Tris Speaker (1912) and Craig Biggio (1998). … The Phillies also hit three homers in one inning on April 13, when Rollins, Bobby Abreu and Utley connected at Atlanta. … Garcia had an infield single in the fourth, his first major league at-bat. … Olsen has given up a team-high 23 homers. … Utley has seven multihomer games this season.