Utley ties Jackson's record for homers in a Series

BY foxsports • November 9, 2009

Chase Utley is too old-school to flip his bat, pause at the plate, jog slowly or do any flashy handshakes after he hits home runs. It's not like he doesn't have enough opportunities. Utley connected twice Monday night to tie Reggie Jackson's record for homers in a World Series, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Yankees 8-6 in Game 5 to avoid elimination. Utley is batting .333 (6 for 18) with five homers and eight RBIs against the Yankees. His success means more cameras follow him around. Utley - no surprise - prefers to avoid the microphones. "It's not my favorite part," Utley said. "My favorite part is playing the game. But it obviously comes with the territory. You kind of learn how to deal with it as you grow. I'm getting a little bit more used to it. But I'd rather just go out and play." Utley got the Phillies started with a big swing, and the rest of the slumping big boppers broke out of their hitting funk. Utley hit a three-run shot off A.J. Burnett in the first inning and a solo homer off Phil Coke in the seventh, becoming the second player to have two multihomer games in a World Series. Willie Aikens did it for Kansas City against the Phillies in 1980. Jackson hit five homers for the Yankees in the 1977 Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He earned the nickname "Mr. October" with three in New York's clinching victory in Game 6. "Obviously, it's great company," Utley said. "At some point, not right now, maybe I'll look back on it and see what kind of special moment it is. But right now our goal is to win two more games." Coming in, Utley didn't have a hit in the Series off any pitcher except CC Sabathia. He had an RBI double and three solo homers off the big lefty, including two in the opener. Trying to become the seventh team to ever rally from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series, the Phillies forced the first Game 6 since the Florida Marlins beat the Yankees in six in 2003. The Series resumes in New York on Wednesday night. The defending champs weren't going to let the Yankees celebrate in their house. With Cliff Lee on the mound, it didn't seem the Phillies would need many runs. Lee had been dominant in the postseason, coming in with a dazzling 0.54 ERA in four starts. Pitching on regular rest, Lee didn't have his best stuff. He allowed five runs in seven-plus innings, but the offense bailed him out and the left-hander improved to 4-0 in the playoffs. If the Phillies force a seventh game, Lee could be out there again on just two days' rest Thursday. It would be his turn to throw a side session, and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he'll consider using him for a few innings. "I'm available," Lee said. Raul Ibanez, who was just 3 for 16 in the Series, hit a solo homer and RBI single. Jimmy Rollins had two hits and Jayson Werth had a key RBI single and was robbed of extra bases by center fielder Brett Gardner. After New York jumped to a 1-0 lead on a RBI double by Alex Rodriguez in the first, the Phils answered in their half. Rollins led off with a single and Victorino took a fastball off his hand after squaring to bunt. Victorino went down in pain, but got up and stayed in until the eighth. X-rays on his finger were negative and Victorino said he was OK. Utley hit Burnett's next pitch - a 94 mph fastball - over the right-field fence to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. He circled the bases so quickly that he rounded third before Rollins and Victorino had even crossed the plate. "He don't like for you to say a whole lot of things about him," Manuel said. "But he's one of the most prepared, one of the most dedicated, he has the most desire and passion to play the game that I've ever been around. I used to say Kirby Puckett was my favorite player. The only thing Kirby might have on Chase is he's more flamboyant because he smiles a lot, and Chase is a little bit different. He's quiet and he goes about his business in a real good way." Utley got things going in the third with a leadoff walk. Werth lined an RBI single and Ibanez singled in another run, chasing Burnett. Burnett pitched a gem against the Phillies in Game 2, allowing one run and four hits in seven innings of a 3-1 victory. He frustrated Philadelphia with a biting curveball and many hitters took first-pitch strikes. The Phillies came out swinging this time.