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Lee and Utley lift Phils over Cubs

Jun 12, 2011 - 12:40 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Two runs was all Cliff Lee needed.

The Phillies got him seven.

Lee sparkled in eight strong innings, striking out seven, and Chase Utley knocked in four runs to lead Philadelphia to a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

Moving his record above .500 for the first time in nearly two months, Lee (6-5) improved to 4-1 in his last five starts after giving up one run on just four hits and two walks.

"He used all of his pitches. He was in command of the game," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "When he uses his curveball, that gets 'em to chase, especially when he's up in the count. That's a good pitch for him."

Utley hit a two-run double in the first inning for the only runs Philadelphia needed, then added a two-run homer in the eighth for good measure.

Shane Victorino had three hits and scored three runs as the Phillies moved to 5-2 since a four-game losing streak. They have captured two of the first three games in this four-game series for an MLB-leading 39 wins.

The Cubs, meanwhile, fell to 3-12 in their last 15 games. Matt Garza (2-6) took the loss despite giving up just two runs -- one earned -- in six innings.

He threw 113 pitches -- "way too many in six innings," the righthander said.

"The biggest thing today was trying to get strike one," Garza said. "I fell behind a lot early and tried to wiggle out of it."

Lee became the ninth active lefthander with 1,500 career innings pitched, moving to 1,504. He also got his sixth hit of the season, a single in his first at-bat.

The Phillies' No. 2 starter is turning it on at a good time. Prior to his last five outings, Lee had been 0-3 in a six-start stretch. He was coming off seven shutout innings in a win over the Dodgers on Monday.

"The last couple of times out, he's pitched better and had good command," said Manuel.

There was a 32-minute rain delay to start the game, with the Citizens Bank Park grounds crew hustling to lay the tarp down during a spot shower.

The Phillies then jumped on Garza in the first inning, taking a 2-0 lead with no outs on Utley's two-run double.

Jimmy Rollins reached on an error by second baseman Darwin Barney and Victorino singled ahead of Utley's hit off the wall in left-center field. Rollins, after holding up a little to see if the ball would be caught, scored only a few steps ahead of Victorino and a late throw to the plate.

Lee hit a two-out single in the second inning and Rollins walked to put two runners on, but Garza got Victorino on a sharp liner to first, escaping trouble.

The Cubs didn't hit Lee until Barney singled through the left side with two outs in the third inning. Starlin Castro moved to second base after he had walked, then scored when Lou Montanez smacked a soft liner into right.

The Phillies, looking to build on their 2-1 lead, had runners at the corners in the fourth when Rollins flied out to right field to end the inning.

Lee retired seven straight batters before Barney led off the sixth inning with a single to left. Barney was erased, however, when Ryan Howard snared Montanez's line drive and stepped on first base for an unassisted double play.

The Phillies left the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth after Lee struck out swinging and Rollins grounded out to end the inning. But they scored two insurance runs off reliever Sean Marshall in the seventh.

Victorino led off with a double, went to third on Utley's ground out and scored on Howard's line-drive single to right. Raul Ibanez added an RBI double, smacking a hit past diving leftfielder Blake DeWitt.

Utley's second homer of the season highlighted a three-run eighth inning against Casey Coleman. Victorino had an RBI single, slapping a hit that deflected off the glove of the shortstop Castro.

Antonio Bastardo worked a perfect ninth inning for Philadelphia.

Game Notes

The Phillies are 4-2 on an 11-game homestand...Lee improved to 4-0 lifetime against the Cubs and has won his last four starts at home...Chicago is 2-7 on a 10-game road trip...Garza is 0-2 since coming off a trip to the disabled list with a sore elbow...Utley had his first multi-RBI game of the season...The Phillies are 8-2 on Saturday, including 5-0 at home.

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  • Chase Utley two-out, two-run Home Run (2) to right scored Shane Victorino. Ryan Howard due up.

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  • Shane Victorino singled to center scored Carlos Ruiz. Runner on first with two outs and Chase Utley due up.

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  • Raul Ibanez doubled to left scored Ryan Howard. Runner on second with two outs and Domonic Brown due up.

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  • Ryan Howard singled to right scored Shane Victorino. Runner on first with one out and Placido Polanco due up.

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  • Lou Montanez singled to right scored Starlin Castro. On the play, Darwin Barney advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Aramis Ramirez due up.

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  • Chase Utley doubled to left scored Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Runner on second with none out and Ryan Howard due up.

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