Phils Blast Past the Reds

Phillies rip Reds 12-5

After taking Wednesday night off the Phillies bats came alive again Thursday blasting Cincinnati Reds pitching for four solo homers and 14 hits on their way to a 12-5 win.

Chase Utley homered and drove in four runs to help the Phils overcome another disappointing performance by a starter as the Phightins took the series against the Reds.

Utley started off the day with a two-run single and a double off Reds starter Micah Owings (3-5), who got nine outs and showed the strain of throwing a lot of innings lately.

Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez all homered as well.

The Phils offense was about more than just the long ball. Jimmy Rollins had four hits, scored twice and drove in a run as he and Utley -- the top two batters in the order -- led the NL's highest-scoring offense.

Phils starter Joe Blanton (2-3) got the win despite letting most of a six-run lead slip away. The right-hander gave up five runs in five innings, including a three-run homer by Brandon Phillips that forced the Phillies to use their bullpen early.

The combination of Clay Condrey, Scott Eyre, Chan Ho Park and Sergio Escalona pitched four scoreless relief innings for the Phillies who now head off to an important weekend interleague series at Yankee Stadium.

But despite winning six of seven the Phillies still have a big problem.

The defending World Series champions' starting rotation has a 6.31 ERA and has given up 46 homers, both good for most in the majors.

The Phillies have spent the first two months of the season trying to outscore their opponents. For the most part, they've pulled it off.

But, how long can the Phils expect to outslug the other guy? With Ibanez, Utley, Howard and Rollins all playing well of late they don't have to worry about the answer -- yet.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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