PHILADELPHIA – Pat Burrell homered and had three RBIs, Jamie Moyer allowed one run in seven innings and the Philadelphia Phillies won their first game without Chase Utley, a rain-shortened 8-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
The Phillies learned before the seven-inning victory that Utley, their All-Star second baseman, could miss three-to-four weeks after undergoing surgery to have a pin placed in his broken right hand. Utley was struck by a pitch on Thursday, and losing his .336 average, 41 doubles, 17 home runs and 82 RBIs was a big blow for a team chasing New York in the NL East.
Utley’s absence was hardly noticed against the NL-worst Pirates in a game that was called after a 61-minute delay following the seventh inning.
Burrell homered as part of a six-run third where the Phillies sent 12 batters to the plate. Michael Bourn, playing for the injured Aaron Rowand, had hits in each of the first three innings and went 4-for-4 with two runs scored. Greg Dobbs also knocked in two runs.
Never mind Utley and Rowand’s injuries. The offensive output was enough to compensate for Ryan Howard striking out twice with the bases loaded.
Ronny Paulino had three hits and an RBI for the Pirates.
Staked to an 8-0 lead after three innings, Moyer (9-8) allowed six hits, struck out four and won his second straight start. The Phillies have won six of seven as they try and remain in the playoff hunt.
Rowand was not in the starting lineup after he injured his left shoulder playing tag with neighborhood kids after Thursday’s game, and was day to day.
Abraham Nunez went 0-for-4 subbing for Utley, but help is on the way. The Phillies acquired second baseman Tadahito Iguchi from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Michael Dubee. Iguchi will likely take over once he joins the team Saturday.
The Phillies touched starter John Van Benschoten (0-5) for two runs in the first inning. Van Benschoten loaded the bases with no out, then struck out Howard and Burrell. Dobbs, though, followed with a two-run single to right.
Pittsburgh has allowed eight first-inning runs in the last four games.
Van Benschoten skipped his last scheduled start to work on his mechanics and the Pirates surely wish they skipped him again. He’s now gone three straight starts without pitching out of the third inning, and allowed seven runs and six hits in 2 1-3 innings in this one.
Burrell hit a two-run homer to left, his 13th, for a 4-0 lead. Carlos Ruiz had an RBI double and Moyer’s run-scoring single, his first RBI this season, made it 6-0 and chased Van Benschoten.
Jimmy Rollins added an RBI single off Tony Armas and Burrell walked with the bases loaded to put the Phillies ahead 8-0.
Notes: Phillies RHP Brett Myers was activated from the disabled list and was ready to pitch for the first time since late May. … The Phillies also purchased the contract of utility player Joe Thurston from Triple-A Ottawa. To make room on the 40-man roster, INF Danny Sandoval was designated for assignment. LHP Mike Zagurski was optioned to Ottawa.