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TAMPA, Fla. — Chase Utley had two hits and a walk as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Yankees 7-3 on March 19.

Utley, slowed by a right ankle injury, has been limited to designated hitter, but Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg said the second baseman is “getting close” to playing defense. Utley is batting .500 (7 for 14) in five games this spring.

Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon threw a perfect inning, including a fly to center on a 3-2 pitch to Alex Rodriguez.

A-Rod, who will turn 40 in July and is coming back from a one-year drug suspension, was hitless in three at-bats. He is mired in a 1-for-12 slide and his batting average has dropped from .455 (5 for 11) to .261 (6 for 23).

Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said it’s still too early to evaluate Rodriguez.

“His at-bats have been pretty decent,” Girardi said. “We start getting down to the last 10 days or so, it’s really when you start to pay attention. You want to see your guys get to where they need to be.”

Aaron Harang allowed two runs and two hits over three innings for Philadelphia. The right-hander had missed two earlier starts due to back soreness.

“I’m not worried about it,” Harang said. “Feeling really good the last few days.”

Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown came out of the game with left Achilles soreness. He will be examined March 20.

(MARK DIDTLER)

Source: The National Herald
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