04/21/08 12:37 PM ET
Utley, Feliz belt homers to boost Phils
With Mets threatening, Bruntlett's defensive gem ends game
By Andy Jasner / Special to MLB.com
Now, the roles have been reversed.
With Rollins landing on the 15-day DL on Sunday with a left ankle sprain -- and Shane Victorino sidelined with a calf injury -- Utley smacked a pair of homers, singled and added a walk as the Phillies salvaged the finale of a three-game series against the Mets, 5-4, before a sellout crowd of 45,173 on Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park. It was the sixth-largest crowd in the history of the ballpark.
"It is a good feeling when you're seeing the ball," Utley said. "But today is over and we start from scratch tomorrow."
Utley hit a solo shot in the first off Mike Pelfrey and laced a three-run blast off Pelfrey that clanged off the right-field foul pole for a 4-0 lead in the fifth. An appreciative crowd asked for a curtain call and chants of "MVP!" soon resonated from the stands.
"He's swinging the bat real good right now," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.
After the Mets rallied to tie the game at 4, Pedro Feliz put the Phillies back ahead with a pinch-hit homer in the seventh off Pedro Feliciano. For Feliz, it was his second career pinch-hit home run, with the first one coming Aug. 1, 2003 at Cincinnati off Paul Wilson.
"I wanted to get a good swing on it and I did," Feliz said. "It happened to go out. It was a good moment. I'm happy I was able to do it. I'm excited. I hope it's not the last one for a while. I put a good swing on the ball and I hope it continues on the trip."
Adam Eaton pitched well once again before running into some trouble in the sixth. He gave up six hits and four runs in five-plus innings.
The Phillies bullpen was terrific once again with Chad Durbin tossing a scoreless inning followed by two scoreless frames from J.C. Romero. Brad Lidge made things interesting in the ninth before picking up his third save.
"I'll tell you what, the guys on this team pick each other up," Romero said. "We did it last season and we're doing it again. It's good to see."
In the ninth, Mets pinch-hitter Damion Easley walked and Jose Reyes reached on an infield single against Lidge. But Luis Castillo struck out and David Wright popped out to Ryan Howard, who made a difficult catch near the stands.
Then came arguably the play of the game.
Carlos Beltran ripped a shot up the middle, which was scooped up by Eric Bruntlett and then deposited to Howard at first, ending the Phillies' four-game skid against the rival Mets.
"That obviously is an unbelievable way to end the game," Bruntlett said. "It's as big as they come."
Bruntlett has scuffled a bit at the plate with a .186 average, so he was thrilled to contribute with his glove.
"It was hit well, but I was playing him over and got a good read on it," Bruntlett said. "It's always nice to be able to do what you can to help your team win. I haven't been hitting that great. I'm with a new team and I'm kind of still adjusting. It'll come. It felt good to make a play in the field to contribute."
Utley had three of the Phillies' 12 hits, which sent his average soaring to .351. Nine different Phillies had at least one hit.
"Everyone contributed and that's great to see," Lidge said. "Every win you get is important, whether it's April or October. Hopefully, we'll use this and take it as a positive on our road trip. With some key guys out, it's great to see the guys rally around each other."
Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.