4/6/2014 6:39 P.M. ET
Utley's red-hot bat frustrates Cubs ace
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija had a rough afternoon Saturday against Chase Utley, but he should not feel alone.
Utley finished Sunday's series finale against the Cubs at Wrigley Field hitting .458 (11-for-24) with three doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and a 1.369 OPS through six games. He entered the afternoon ranked third in the National League in batting average, total bases (18) and slugging percentage (.857).
"He's right on the dish, he has a short swing and he loves the ball in," Samardzija said. "As a pitcher, it puts you in a tough spot right off the bat. You need to attack him right away and see how his approach is. To know his power zone is in and he's on top of the dish, he covers the plate, not to mention, he has a great eye. You add that together and you have one tough out, especially when he's healthy. He's a good player, man. The more times you get him out, the better you can navigate around their lineup."
Utley hit the 300th double of his career Saturday, which is eighth on the franchise list. He is just the third player in Phillies history to collect 300 doubles, 200 home runs, 800 RBIs and 100 stolen bases, joining Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt and current teammate Jimmy Rollins.
Utley picked up the 814th RBI of his career in Sunday's 8-3 loss, which moved him into a tie with Bobby Abreu for 10th place on the franchise's all-time list.
Hamels tosses four innings in rehab outing
CHICAGO -- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels made a rehab start Sunday afternoon with Class A Advanced Clearwater.
He allowed two runs on three hits and struck out four in four innings. He allowed both runs on homers to Blue Jays prospect Dwight Smith Jr., who was the 53rd overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Hamels said last week he anticipated making three more rehab starts before rejoining the Phillies' rotation during the final week of April.
Phillies could catch break in Brewers series
CHICAGO -- The Phillies caught a nice break in Texas when Rangers ace Yu Darvish could not pitch because of a neck injury.
They could catch another break this week against the Brewers.
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun is less than 100 percent. He has been bothered with a nerve issue in his right hand, which kept him out of the lineup Saturday in Boston. He returned to the lineup Sunday and played right field, but entered the afternoon hitting .063 (1-for-16) with one walk and two strikeouts.
The inflamed nerve between Braun's right thumb and forefinger has caused pain for nearly a year, which has turned into numbness throughout the rest of the thumb.
• Jayson Nix made his Phillies debut last week. His brother Laynce played for the Phillies from 2012-13. They are the ninth set of brothers to play for the Phillies, joining Dave and Dennis Bennett, Dino and Lou Chiozza, Ed and Tom Delahanty, Granny and Garvin Hamner, George and Fritz Knothe, Charlie and Luther Roy, Bill and Roy Thomas, and Wally and Jim Westlake.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.