Phillies second baseman Utley homers twice, continuing his dominance of Reds Print
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Friday, 04 April 2008 22:47
MLB Headline News

 Chase Utley keeps confounding Cincinnati. Doesn't matter what season, doesn't matter who he's facing on the mound.
The Phillies' power-hitting second baseman homered twice, the second a solo shot giving him 100 for his career, and Philadelphia pounded the Reds 8-4 on Friday night for its second win after an 0-2 start.
Utley hit a two-run homer off Josh Fogg (0-1), who lasted only four innings in his Reds debut, before his milestone homer off Jeremy Affeldt. Utley is 13-for-22 in his last six games against Cincinnati, with seven homers and 13 RBIs.
``To me, it's just another home run,'' Utley said of No. 100, which also gave him 14 career multihomer games - the last two coming against the Reds.
Any explanation for his dominance of Cincinnati?
``I don't know,'' he said.
Pat Burrell also had a two-run homer for the Phillies. Six of their 10 hits went for extra bases.
``The last two games, we've started swinging the bat pretty good,'' manager Charlie Manuel said. ``We need to. We have to.''
In other National League games Friday, it was Arizona 8, Colorado 1; Houston 4, the Chicago Cubs 3; Milwaukee 13, San Francisco 4; Florida 5, Pittsburgh 4; St. Louis 5, Washington 4; and the Los Angeles Dodgers 7, San Diego 1.
The opening game of the Atlanta Braves-New York Mets series was postponed due to rain, and was rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on May 20.
Kyle Kendrick (1-0), who led NL rookies with 10 wins last season, had a tough time getting his first of the new season for Philadelphia. The right-hander gave up four runs, eight hits and a pair of walks in five-plus innings, getting pulled after 94 pitches.
``My first outing, I had a little jitters going,'' said Kendrick, who got help from three relievers limiting the Reds to one hit the rest of the way. ``I was excited to be out there.''
Ken Griffey Jr. drove in a pair of runs with a single and a double, passing Reggie Jackson for 16th on the career list with 1,702 RBIs. Frank Robinson is next at 1,812.
The Reds were short-handed at catcher after Javier Valentin left the game in the sixth inning with a pulled hamstring. He barely jogged out of the batter's box after hitting a single, and grabbed the back of his left leg when he reached first base.
Valentin was replaced by Paul Bako, the only healthy catcher on the roster. David Ross is on the disabled list after back spasms wiped out most of his spring training.
``It's tough when you're down to one catcher,'' manager Dusty Baker said. ``We're keeping our fingers crossed that he'll be better tomorrow. It was a tough day at the yard.''
Neither starter fared well after rain delayed the first pitch by an hour and 34 minutes.
Fogg, a 31-year-old right-hander with a 60-61 career record, needed 28 pitches to get through the first inning alone. Ryan Howard hit a sacrifice fly, and Burrell followed with a two-run homer.
``You can't control the weather,'' Fogg said. ``I just made poor pitches. I didn't get strike one, and I put my team in a hole. It's hard to come back when you're down three in the first.''
Dodgers 7, Padres 1
At San Diego, Hiroki Kuroda was brilliant in his big league debut, holding San Diego to three hits in seven innings with a mix of fastballs, sliders and an occasional splitter.
The Dodgers blew it open in the seventh against lefty relievers Joe Thatcher (0-1) and Glendon Rusch, getting three singles, four walks and a sacrifice fly. That after Padres starter Justin Germano allowed an unearned run on three hits in six innings.
Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 1
At Denver, Micah Owings (1-0) struck out a career-best nine batters and allowed just one run and two hits over 6 2-3 innings - at one point retiring 17 straight. Chad Qualls and Juan Cruz completed the two-hitter.
Mark Redman (0-1) allowed five runs, four earned, in 5 2-3 innings for Colorado.
Astros 4, Cubs 3
At Chicago, J.R. Towles homered in the fourth, Miguel Tejada added a go-ahead triple in the eighth and the Astros made a first-time winner of 23-year-old reliever Wesley Wright.
Towles' two-run drive off Rich Hill gave Houston a 2-0 lead, and that held until Geovany Soto's tying, two-run single in the seventh. Houston immediately got two runs in the eighth off Jon Lieber (0-1), and Jose Valverde earned his first save of the year.
Brewers 13, Giants 4
At Milwaukee, Bill Hall homered twice and had a career-high six RBIs, Prince Fielder went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Carlos Villanueva (1-0) picked up a win for the Brewers.
Salomon Torres pitched three innings for his first save.
Jonathan Sanchez (0-1) struck out eight, but gave up seven runs in four-plus innings.
Marlins 5, Pirates 4
At Miami, Mike Jacobs homered off reliever Franquelis Osoria leading off the ninth to give Florida it's second game-winning homer of the young season.
Kevin Gregg (1-0) pitched one scoreless inning for the win, three days after Robert Andino hit his first major league homer in the bottom of the 10th to beat the New York Mets 5-4.
Cardinals 5, Nationals 4
At St. Louis, Braden Looper (1-0) gave up a run and five hits in six innings to continue the Cardinals' strong starting pitching.
Cristian Guzman homered for Washington, but it didn't do much good. Odalis Perez (0-1) allowed five runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. He's 3-5 with an 8.87 ERA for his career against the Cardinals.
 

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