PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Chase Utley homered in his first at-bat of the season after the Philadelphia Phillies slugger missed the first 76 games because of a chronic problem in both knees.
Utley connected on a 2-2 pitch from Pittsburgh right-hander James McDonald in the first inning. Carlos Ruiz followed with a homer to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
A five-time All-Star at second base, Utley received a standing ovation during pregame introductions and when he came to the plate. He was mobbed by teammates in the dugout after circling the bases and came out for a curtain call.
Utley sat out the first 46 games last year before returning to have the least productive season of his career. He batted .259 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs.