Chase Utley is a home-run hitting machine right now. The All-Star second baseman jacked his MLB-best ninth homer of the season on Monday. That means Utley has more long balls than the Athletics' roster combined and just as many as the Twins and Royals.
Homers Through April 21
Utley homered for the fifth straight game and made a diving stop to start a key double play in the third inning in Philadelphia's 9-5 win over Colorado on Monday night.Jayson Werth added an inside-the-park home run in the first meeting between the teams since the Rockies' first-round playoff sweep last October.Utley hit his major league-leading ninth home run -- his sixth in five games. He became the fourth player in Philadelphia franchise history to homer in five straight games. Bobby Abreu was the last to do it on May 8-12, 2005.The All-Star second baseman became the first major leaguer to homer in five straight games since the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez from Sept. 4-9 last year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau."Chase is seeing the ball good and he's hitting the ball very hard," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's always ready to hit, and he expects to hit every day. That's what I like about him."
Home Run Run
Chase Utley tied the Phillies record by homering in his fifth straight game. Here's how the others in the club finished the year:
Even after extending his home-run streak, it was Utley's play on Clint Barmes' grounder up the middle that had his teammates heaping praise upon him."Incredible," Werth said. "That was a great play. I came in and watched it on replay. It was one of the best plays I've seen."The Rockies led 3-0 when they loaded the bases with one out in the third. Barmes hit a sharp grounder over the mound, and Utley laid out to snare it, starting an inning-ending double play."The ball took a funny hop off the mound and it hung up in the air," Utley said. "I got lucky and caught it. A base hit there would have hurt a lot."Garrett Atkins and Yorvit Torrealba homered for the Rockies, who blew an eighth-inning lead for the second straight day.The Phillies mounted the winning rally off Taylor Buchholz (1-1) with two outs and no one on. Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell singled, and Pedro Feliz walked. Brian Fuentes came on in relief, and Carlos Ruiz doubled down the right-field line to drive in two runs."It's a good piece of hitting and hitting them where they ain't," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's what he did. It wasn't a bad pitch."I had it for an inning and two thirds and I let down," Buchholz said. "I couldn't throw my curve ball for a strike."Philadelphia added three runs in the top of the ninth off Micah Bowie on doubles by Werth and T.J. Bohn. Rudy Seanez (2-1) got the win in relief.The Rockies jumped out to the early lead in the second. Brad Hawpe started the inning with a double to left-center, and Barmes followed with a bloop single to left. Torrealba hit a 2-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers to make it 3-0. It was his second home run of the season.Struggling Troy Tulowitzki had a tough night, making the final out of the second, fourth and sixth innings with runners in scoring position. He went 0-for-5 to lower his average to .165.The Phillies scored twice in the fourth. Howard, who came into the game hitting .185, singled to right with two outs and Burrell followed with his seventh homer of the season to make it 3-2.Colorado got the runs back when Atkins hit his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot into left field with one out in the fifth.The Phillies rallied in the sixth. Werth hit a drive to deep center that Taveras couldn't get off the carom, and he beat the relay throw to home. Utley followed with a home run to make it 5-4 and chase starter Mark Redman.
Colorado pitching coach Bob Apodaca left Coors Field prior to Monday's game for what the Rockies said were family reasons. ... Werth's inside-the-park home run was the first by a Phillies player since Jimmy Rollins did it on April 7, 2007, at Florida. ... The Phillies have hit back-to-back home runs three times this year.