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Phillies 6, Giants 2

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- Chase Utley contributed to Philadelphia uprisings in the first and second innings with singles, then did it all himself with a solo home run in the fifth, as the Phillies led wire-to-wire in recording a second consecutive 6-2 road win over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.

The Phillies, who began the season 9-14, will go for their second series sweep in the past two weeks when Jonathan Pettibone opposes the Giants' Barry Zito in a Wednesday afternoon affair.

Utley set the tone for a hard-hitting Phillies attack when, as the second batter of the game, he smacked a one-hop shot off the right thigh of Giants starter Tim Lincecum (2-2) for an infield hit. He eventually scored the visitors' first run on a Ryan Howard single.

Utley, who entered the game just 5-for-30 (.167) with 12 strikeouts against Lincecum, was on the run-producing end of a two-run second inning, singling in Ben Revere with two outs after a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice had made it 2-0 one batter earlier.

The Giants got those two runs back against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (4-1) in a three-hit third inning, but Utley's bomb into the right-field pavilion just to the right of the 421-foot mark in the fourth and an RBI double by Michael Young in the sixth pushed Philadelphia closer to the seventh win in its last 10 games at San Francisco's AT&T Park.

The home run was Utley's seventh of the season. The two RBIs increased his team-leading total to 23.

Howard capped the scoring at 6-2 with a two-out homer in the ninth, his sixth, the Phillies' 12th consecutive solo shot.

The loss dropped the Giants out of first place in the National League West.

Kendrick, who retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced, was pulled after seven innings, having held the Giants to two runs on six hits. He did not walk a batter for the first time in seven starts and struck out a season-best six.

Mike Adams pitched a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out in a non-save situation in the ninth, protecting a four-run lead.

Lincecum, who was coming off a five-inning, 10-hit outing in a no-decision at Arizona, was touched for nine hits and five runs in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked three.

Kendrick hadn't allowed a run on the road all season in 16 innings against the Reds and Mets until the Giants used doubles by Brandon Crawford and Marco Scutaro to piece together their two-run third inning. But he shut off the faucet by stranding Scutaro at second, then also pitched out of a jam in the next inning before settling into a nice rhythm.

Scutaro extended his hitting streak to seven games with a double and a single.

Neither starting pitcher was particularly effective, the difference being the Phillies did a better job manufacturing runs off Lincecum than the Giants did off Kendrick.

The Phillies built an early 3-0 lead on the strength of a well executed two-run uprising in the second inning. A perfect sacrifice bunt by Kendrick advanced two runners into scoring position, after which a Jimmy Rollins sacrifice fly and a two-out single by Utley produced the runs.

The Giants, meanwhile, had a chance to get even -- or perhaps more -- in the fourth, after having scored twice in the third to get within one. But with two on and none out, Gregor Blanco failed on a sacrifice attempt, then struck out after manager Bruce Bochy took off the bunt.

Kendrick then retired Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford to escape the threat. And when Utley hit Lincecum's first pitch of the fifth inning over the bricks in right field, the Phillies had a two-run lead again at 4-2.

NOTES: Phillies ace Roy Halladay was examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles on Tuesday, with the club anxiously awaiting the results. His shoulder ailment is being labeled as inflammation pending further diagnosis. Halladay, who is on the disabled list, is expected to rejoin the team Thursday in Arizona. ... When the Giants' third inning ended with Marco Scutaro on second base, it marked the first time since the seventh inning Sunday that the club had left a runner stranded. That included the entire game Monday night -- the third time that's happened in the majors this season. ... Upon his belated return from Venezuela, the Giants activated left-handed reliever Jose Mijares from the bereavement list Tuesday, optioning right-hander reliever Jean Machi to Triple-A Fresno. ... The Giants formally appealed an official scorer's call in Monday's game, claiming an infield single credited to Phillies catcher Erik Kratz should in fact have been an error on Scutaro. If the change is made -- the commissioner's office usually acts upon such appeals within a week -- three of the five runs charged to Giants starter Madison Bumgarner in the game would be unearned and his ERA would drop from 2.31 to 1.74.
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