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Utley booed after fifth at-bat ends in third strikeout


CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The crowd is thinning here at Bright House Field as the game heads to extra innings, but a few of the fans that remained booed Chase Utley after Tampa Yankees lefty Rigaberto Arrebato struck him out to end the bottom of the ninth inning.

Arrebato got Utley to swing through an offspeed pitch and the boos followed.

Utley is 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and a foul out in the first game of his minor-league rehab assignment.

Utley strikes out with runner at second

A second baseman doubled home three runs to give single-A Clearwater a 3-1 lead over the Tampa Yankees in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Albert Cartwright, however, is not going to be helping the floundering Phillies any time soon.

After Cartwright delivered his three-run double down the right-field line at Bright House Field, Chase Utley stepped to the plate for his fourth at-bat of the evening as the Threshers' designated hitter.

Utley struck out swinging against lefty Aaron Dott to end the inning. It was the second straight at-bat that Utley went down on strikes against Dott and he is 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a foul out.

Utley strikes out looking

The fact that the ballpark sound system played Rush's Tom Sawyer as Chase Utley went to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning was pretty much the highlight of the exercise.

Utley stepped in and took six pitches from Tampa Yankees lefty Aaron Dott, who relieved Sean Black at the start of the inning.

Here's the recap of Utley's third at-bat with the Threshers: Ball, strike looking, ball, strike looking, ball, strike looking -- out.

We'll be back when he hits again.


Kashmir and a line out 

Led Zeppelin's Kashmir accompanied Chase Utley to the plate in the fourth inning. That, of course, is the song he hears before he hits at Citizens Bank Park, too.

His first time up, it was Led Zeppelin's Rock-n-Roll that accompanied him to the plate, which might not have been the right song, but it was the more appropriate one given how long it has been since he rock-n-rolled on a baseball diamond.

Anyway, Utley's second at-bat was far more eventful, but no more productive than his first.

In addition to the background music, there was also a proposal from the dollar-dog crowd: "Chase, marry me," a woman requested.

Utley worked the count to 2-2 against Tampa righthander Sean Black, then ripped a line drive down the right-field line that was called foul by the home-plate umpire Jose Esteras. They work with a two-man crew here in the Florida State League.

"What are you looking at blue?" a voice in the crowd asked.

No replay in the Florida State League either, but it looked close from where I was sitting.

Utley lined the next pitch from Black to left fielder Ramon Flores, who made the running catch for the first out of the inning.

Utley pops up first at-bat

Chase Utley's minor-league rehab assignment has officially started.

The Phillies' second baseman stepped to the plate as single-A Clearwater's designated hitter in the bottom of the first inning and saw four pitches against righthander Sean Black of the Tampa Yankees.

Utley, who is attempting to return from chronic soreness in his knees, took a strike and a ball, then swung through a fastball for a second strike. On the fourth pitch from Black, he popped up weakly in foul territory near the first-base dugout.

Black, the Yankees' starter, was 1-3 with a 6.44 ERA coming into the game. He is from Mount Laurel, N.J. and Lenape High School.

Brody Colvin, after five relief appearances, is the Clearwater starter and has five strikeouts through the first two innings.

Utley will be off this weekend

Chase Utley's minor-league rehab is minutes away from beginning at Bright House Field and we can already report when it's going to temporarily end.

Utley is hitting third for single-A Clearwater tonight as the designated hitter.

There was no immediate word on when he'll play in the field for the first time at second base or what his schedule will be beyond tonight.

We do know, however, that he will not be playing for Clearwater Friday, Saturday or Sunday because the Florida State League is shut down for its All-Star break.

Utley will remain in Clearwater during that time and play in simulated games, according to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

Stay tuned to this blog for updates on each of Utley's at-bats tonight against the Tampa Yankees.