|Phillies lose All-Star Utley to broken hand, then blow lead against Nationals|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 26 July 2007 21:48|
Lannan was ejected after hitting the Phillies' All-Star second baseman and slugger Ryan Howard in consecutive at-bats in the fifth inning of Washington's 7-6 victory Thursday night in Philadelphia.
Utley finished the game, going 2-for-4, but X-rays afterward showed he broke a bone in his right hand. He planned to see a specialist on Friday to determine the first step in his recovery.
``As breaks go, it's not that bad of a break,'' Utley said. ``It's definitely disappointing.''
Utley, batting .336 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs, said he is optimistic he will be back within a month. Philadelphia is five games back of the Mets in the NL East and trails wild card-leading Arizona by 2 1/2 games.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Abraham Nunez likely will replace Utley at second base.
``Chase is a big part of this team,'' Manuel said. ``He's one of our best players, both on defense and offense. We're going to fight our way through this.''
After Lannan was ejected, Washington manager Manny Acta was also ejected by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
``His explanation was that Howard hit a home run in his previous at-bat and then he got hit in his next at-bat,'' Acta said. ``I was very surprised. I don't think the kid is going to come up here and start throwing at people.''
Lannan was called up by Washington after going a combined 12-3 with a 2.35 ERA in 20 games with three minor league teams this season. But after getting battered for three runs and six hits in the first four innings, he plunked Utley and hit Howard on the right shoulder.
``I was pretty shocked,'' Lannan said of the ejection. ``Those were two fastballs that just got away from me. I've had to make adjustments at each of my stops. This was just a little weirder.''
Lannan was replaced by Chris Schroder, who gave up a two-run single to Pat Burrell that put the Phillies ahead 5-2. But Washington scored twice in the seventh and Jesus Flores hit a three-run homer in the eighth to complete the comeback.
Jon Rauch (6-2) pitched two scoreless innings, and Chad Cordero finished for his 20th save in 27 chances, snapping the Phillies' five-game winning streak.
In other NL games, it was Cincinnati 6, Milwaukee 5; Pittsburgh 8, the New York Mets 4; Arizona 7, Florida 4; the Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Colorado 4; Houston 7, San Diego 1; and St. Louis 11, the Chicago Cubs 1.
Philadelphia led 5-2 when Felipe Lopez hit a two-run, two-out single off J.C. Romero in the seventh. Ryan Zimmerman grounded to third leading off the eighth but reached on a throwing error by Wes Helms. Jose Mesa (0-2), pitching in his 1,000th major league game, walked Austin Kearns with one out before Flores connected off Mike Zagurski.
``That comes from playing every day,'' Flores said. ``The last two days, I felt like I'm playing every day. I just want to get comfortable and every time I play and make good swings, I feel more comfortable.''
Howard put the Phillies ahead 3-2 in the third with his 29th homer, a two-run drive. Howard has 13 homers and 34 RBIs off left-handers - both tops in the majors.
Reds 6, Brewers 5
At Cincinnati, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 588th homer, and the Reds rallied against All-Star closer Francisco Cordero.
After Scott Hatteberg's single off Cordero (0-3) tied it in the ninth, Javier Valentin's single in the 10th gave the Reds three victories in their four-game series against the fading NL Central leaders. Jared Burton (2-1) got the win in relief.
Pirates 8, Mets 4
At New York, Josh Phelps capped a five-run sixth inning with a two-run homer off Oliver Perez (9-7), then added an RBI double in the seventh for the Pirates.
Left-hander Paul Maholm (7-12) won for the third time in four starts, limiting the Mets to three runs and six hits over six-plus innings.
Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 4
At Phoenix, Eric Byrnes hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning off Armando Benitez (5-2) to give the Diamondbacks a four-game sweep of the Marlins.
Tony Pena (5-2) pitched two hitless innings for the victory.
Dodgers 5, Rockies 4
At Denver, Brad Penny (13-1) scattered five hits over six innings before leaving with an abdominal cramp and Rafael Furcal hit a two-run homer for the Dodgers.
Rodrigo Lopez (5-4) went 6 2-3 innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs.
Astros 7, Padres 1
At Houston, Carlos Lee, Morgan Ensberg and Craig Biggio hit home runs, and Wandy Rodriguez (7-9) allowed one run in seven innings to send the Astros to their fifth win in seven games.
David Wells (5-7) lasted only three innings and gave up seven runs and seven hits with four walks. Wells matched his season high for runs allowed.
Cardinals 11, Cubs 1
At St. Louis, Albert Pujols snapped an 0-for-11 slump with a three-run homer, Chris Duncan added a grand slam and Braden Looper (8-8) won for the second time in three starts.
Chicago starter Jason Marquis (7-6) allowed six runs in five innings. He walked four and struck out just one. Marquis had beaten his former teammates in two earlier starts this season.