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PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Rookie right-hander Vance Worley threw a three-hitter and Chase Utley hit an inside-the-park homer to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night in a matchup of the NL’s top teams.
Worley (7-1) had five strikeouts and one walk, and has allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of his 13 career starts. It was Worley’s fifth straight win.
Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr. and Raul Ibanez also homered for the Phillies (65-37).
Aaron Rowand homered against his former team for the Giants (59-44).
Barry Zito (3-3), a late replacement for scheduled starter Tim Lincecum, allowed six runs and six hits in seven innings while striking out four and walking two.
Lincecum was scratched two hours before the game due to a stomach illness. He was listed as day-to-day and could pitch Wednesday against the Phillies, taking Zito’s place.
Zito, pitching on nine days’ rest, was roughed up in the first inning when Philadelphia scored four runs.
In the sixth, Utley drove the ball off the wall in center. It caromed away from center fielder Andres Torres and was retrieved by right fielder Nate Schierholtz. The relay came to shortstop Mike Fontenot, whose throw home was slightly to the left of catcher Eli Whiteside. Utley, sliding headfirst, just beat the lunging tag of Whiteside to put Philadelphia up 6-1.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy came out to argue, but replays appeared to confirm home-plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth’s call was correct.
Utley, who went 2 for 4, has reached base safely in 28 straight games and is 8 for 17 with three homers and five RBIs in his last five games.
Howard went 2 for 4 with the homer and a double.
The game was a rematch of last season’s NLCS when the Giants beat the Phillies in six games on their way to winning the World Series. The series had added intrigue following Bochy’s handling of Philadelphia pitchers Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in the All-Star game.
Bochy chose to start Halladay and had Lee pitch 1 2-3 innings, while resting two of his eligible All-Star pitchers, Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong. The move drew the ire of some Philadelphia fans and may have irritated Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, who responded to a question about the situation by saying, “I’ve got my opinions. I’m not going to tell you.”
The Phillies scored four runs in the first after Zito had retired the first two batters, highlighted by Ibanez’s three-run homer to deep right-center. Ibanez had been 9 for 49 (.184) lifetime against Zito entering the game. Howard had put Philadelphia on the board with an RBI double to right that scored Utley.
The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the first on Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly.
Mayberry homered to left in the fourth to give the Phillies a 5-1 lead.
Rowand’s pinch-hit homer in the eighth pulled the Giants within 6-2, but Howard got the run back with a solo shot to left in the bottom of the inning.
Cody Ross, the MVP of last season’s NLCS, went 0 for 3 and is 1 for his last 17.
Notes: The crowd of 45,740 was the Phillies’ 177th consecutive sellout. Philadelphia hasn’t had a losing streak since dropping four straight from May 31-June 4. Phiilies SS Jimmy Rollins went 0 for 4, stretching his slump to one hit in his last 20 at-bats.
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