Chase Utley Hits Grand Slam In Return To Philadelphia, Dodgers Clobber Phillies
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley’s return to Philadelphia went as expected with the Phillies fans in attendance giving the veteran infielder a standing ovation that lasted more than one minute. Utley stepped out of the batter’s box and tipped his helmet to the appreciative crowd.

Just as the first time he faced the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vince Velasquez struck out the side in the first inning. Kenta Maeda struck out the first two batters faced in the bottom of the frame, and ended the inning by inducing a groundout.

Josh Reddick’s continued stretch of bad luck since being traded to the Dodgers continued as his drive to the gap was caught by Odubel Herrera.

After Adrian Gonzalez struck out swinging, Yasmani Grandal singled to give the Dodgers their first hit. Joc Pederson also went down swinging, and Velasquez had five strikeouts through two scoreless innings.

Maeda hung a first-pitch curveball to Cameron Rupp, who crushed a towering shot to center field, giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Howie Kendrick led off the third inning with a base hit, then was moved into scoring position on Maeda’s sacrifice bunt.

Utley worked a 3-0 count but flied out to left field, and Corey Seager was called out on strikes to end the inning. Maeda issued a two-out walk in the third and retired the side in order in the fourth to keep the Phillies’ lead at 1-0.

Kendrick put the Dodgers ahead with a two-run blast in the fifth inning. The homer was Kendrick’s second off Velasquez in eight days. Two batters later, Utley lined a solo home run into right-center field and took a curtain call.

Freddy Galvis reached on a two-out infield single in the bottom of the fifth but Maeda ended the inning with his seventh strikeout. A Gonzalez two-out base hit in the sixth haunted Velasquez as Grandal followed with an opposite-field, two-run homer.

Cesar Hernandez tagged Maeda for a solo home run in the sixth, trimming the Dodgers’ lead to 5-2. An Utley leadoff walk and subsequent Seager double put two runners in scoring position for Justin Turner.

He lined right to Ryan Howard, but the ball popped out of his glove and Howard failed to recover to make the play. The ball immediately found Howard again, with Reddick grounding right to the first baseman and he threw home to get a force out.

Phillies reliever Elvis Araujo then began to unravel. He hit Gonzalez with a pitch and walked Grandal and Pederson, bringing in three runs, which extended the Dodgers’ lead to 8-2. Following a Rob Segedin pinch-hit RBI single, Utley added to his homecoming with a grand slam.

The crowd again gave him a standing ovation and demanded a second curtain call, to which Utley obliged. Pedro Baez allowed a leadoff single and two-run homer to Howard in the bottom of the seventh. Baez bounced back to retire the next three batters faced and the Dodgers took a 13-4 lead to the eighth inning.

J.P. Howell came on in the bottom of the eighth and allowed a trio of consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. However, Howell managed to limit the damage to just one run, scored on a sacrifice fly.

Kendrick hit an RBI single in the ninth, and Segedin an RBI groundout. Casey Fien, reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday, worked around a Reddick two-base error in the bottom half of the inning to wrap up the Dodgers’ 15-5 victory.