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Utley, Victorino help Phillies push past .500

May 27, 2007 - 12:40 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) Chase Utley and Shane Victorino put the Philadelphia Phillies in uncharted territory - one game over .500.

Utley drove in two runs and Victorino homered and scored three times to power Philadelphia to a 6-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday.

The Phillies began the season in rather disappointing fashion, dropping 11 of their first 15 games. But the club, which has started slow in each of the first three seasons under the stewardship of manager Charlie Manuel, won 16 of 27 to climb back to 20-20.

Over their next eight games, Philadelphia failed to climb over the .500 mark, alternating losses with wins. That finally changed on Saturday.

Powered by Utley and Victorino, Philadelphia (29-28) scored four runs in the third and single runs in the fifth and seventh to move one game above .500 for the first time this season.

"It's huge," Utley said. "We didn't play solid baseball the first few weeks of the season. The last month, we have. We still have room for improvement. If we continue to improve, I like our chances."

"We relaxed a little bit," Phillies starter Adam Eaton said of the turnaround. "It kind of got pretty tight. April's gone, May's here. Hopefully, we can close out on April. We were getting rained on and the May flowers will come up."

Michael Bourn started the offensive onslaught in the third against Atlanta starter Buddy Carlyle (0-1) with a bunt single down the third base line. The speedy outfielder promptly stole second and scored on a single by Eaton (5-3).

Jimmy Rollins and Victorino followed with singles to load the bases, bringing up Utley.

Utley laced a double into the left-center field gap, plating Eaton and Rollins. After Ryan Howard was walked intentionally to load the bases, Victorino scored on a passed ball to give the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

One inning later, Utley added to Philadelphia's lead by plating Victorino, who followed in the seventh by launching his third homer of the season into the right field bleachers. That would be all the run support Eaton would need. The righthander scattered four runs and six hits in six frames, walked three and struck out one.

"It means a lot (to get over .500)," said Victorino, who was a double shy of the cycle. "It's still not where we want to be. We want to be the division leader. We have to win these types of games."

Rookie Mike Zagurski, whose contract was purchased from Class AA Reading on Friday, hurled a perfect seventh and recorded the first out of the eighth, leaving Geoff Geary to retire the next two in the frame on just two pitches.

Antonio Alfonseca hurled a scoreless ninth to record his first save of the season in place of the injured Brett Myers. It was the veteran righthander's first save since September 13, 2002, when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs.

"(It felt like) the first time again," said Alfonseca, who led the National League in saves with 45 in the 2000 campaign while a member of the Marlins. "I'm happy right now. The bullpen's doing a good job."

Carlyle, who was summoned from Class AAA Richmond prior to the game, surrendered five runs and six hits in four-plus innings, walked two and struck out three in the losing effort.

"I felt good," Carlyle said. "I felt comfortable. I felt like I was having a good starts, but in those eight to 10 minutes (in the third), everything kind of just happened."

Atlanta wasted a four-RBI game from shortstop Edgar Renteria. The 31-year-old Colombian drove in a run in the first on a groundout, plated two with a double in the third and homered in the fifth.

"We tried to battle," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Edgar did all he could. We just couldn't get a lot of hits."

Cox was ejected by first base umpire Ron Kulpa for arguing a foul ball call in the bottom of the third. Kulpa also ejected Atlanta ace John Smoltz, who was arguing from the dugout.

"Oh yeah, it was fair," Cox said. "We were losing 4-1 at the time. I thought it was big."

It was the second ejection in as many nights, fifth this season and the 130th of his major league career for Cox. Atlanta's longtime skipper is one ejection away from tying John "Tug" McGraw for first on the all-time list.

"I don't want to talk about the record," Cox said. "I want to talk about the game."

Willie Harris scored twice for Atlanta, which dropped a home series for the first time this season.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 6 8 0
    ATLANTA 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: PHI - ADAM EATON, MICHAEL ZAGURSKI (7TH), GEOFF GEARY (8TH), ANTONIO
    ALFONSECA (9TH) AND ROD BARAJAS
    ATL - BUDDY CARLYLE, MACAY MCBRIDE (5TH), TYLER YATES
    (7TH), O

    May 26 6:46 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY SHANE VICTORINO (3) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF TYLER YATES.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 6, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: C UTLEY (.297, 2-FOR-3, 3 RBI)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 5:59 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY EDGAR RENTERIA (7) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF ADAM EATON.
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 5, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.282, 0-FOR-2)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 5:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED SHANE VICTORINO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C UTLEY ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 5
    ATLANTA 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.204, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 5:22 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY EDGAR RENTERIA SCORED KELLY JOHNSON AND WILLIE
    HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E RENTERIA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.284, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 5:00 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    PASSED BALL BY BRIAN MCCANN ALLOWED SHANE VICTORINO TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, R HOWARD ON FIRST, C UTLEY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.229, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 4:37 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED ADAM EATON AND JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C UTLEY ON SECOND, S VICTORINO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 3
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.204, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 4:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM EATON SCORED MICHAEL BOURN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A EATON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 1
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J ROLLINS (.271, 0-FOR-1)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 4:31 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY EDGAR RENTERIA SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.286, 3 HR, 22 RBI)

    Phillies vs. BravesMay 26 4:06 PM