Utley goes 0-for-2 in first spring appearance

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP)—Chase Utley sees no reason why he won’t be able to play for the Philadelphia Phillies on opening day.

The All-Star second baseman went 0-for-2 in his first spring training game since offseason hip surgery and Philadelphia beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Sunday.

Utley led off and played four innings after going 2-for-4 in a minor league intrasquad game at Philadelphia’s training complex on Saturday.

“The more I play and the better I feel, then the more optimistic I am,” Utley said. “As long as we continue to have no setbacks, like we haven’t had so far, I don’t see why we won’t be ready on opening day. I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point, but I’ve got to continue to work hard to make sure my body cooperates the right way.”

Utley isn’t expected to travel with the Phillies when they face the New York Yankees in Tampa on Monday. The team plans to slowly work him into game shape.

“There’s no right or wrong,” Utley said. “It’s just based on how I feel.”

Chan Ho Park tossed 4 2-3 shutout innings for the Phillies. He struck out six, walked none and surrendered three hits.

Park is competing with J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick and Carlos Carrasco for the fifth spot in the rotation.

“Today was a good day,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said of Park. “Very good.”

In the last two weeks, Park (1.54 ERA) and Happ (2.45 ERA) have emerged as the favorites for the open spot.

“I’m not competing with him,” Park said. “I’m competing with myself, my pitches, my game.”

Kyle Lohse pitched five sharp innings for the Cardinals, yielding one run and five hits. Khalil Greene went 2-for-3.

Notes

Philadelphia OF Jayson Werth homered for the second straight game. … Phillies LHP Cole Hamels pitched four innings in a minor league intrasquad game. “He threw the ball very well,” Dubee said. “It’s kind of what we expected.”

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