The Phillies' young players, about ready to embark on the start of the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn league seasons early next week, got an added bonus during an exhibition Friday.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley played for the Gulf Coast Phillies at the Carpenter Complex and first baseman Ryan Howard and outfielder Laynce Nix were in the lineup for Williamsport, of the NY-P.
Howard, continuing his rehab from a torn left Achilles, went 3-for-4 with two homers and a double. Howard has still not run fully in these games, but did jog part of the way to first each time. He has yet to begin an official rehab assignment.
Howard hit second in each inning he played behind Nix, who went 1-for-2 with a home run and two walks.
Utley went 1-for-4, with a walk, and played four innings at second base. He appeared to have no trouble running the bases or in the field in his first appearance at second.
Utley, who began his official rehab assignment Tuesday, has gone 1-for-13 (.077) in three Florida State League games for the Clearwater Threshers over the last three nights, but was the designated hitter in each game. He has expressed little concern for the results, looking more to see live pitching and make progress.
The Threshers are off until Monday for the All-Star break.
Daily News correspondent Eddie Michels contributed to this report.