Phils regain Wild Card lead with 4-3 win

Behind the clutch hitting of newly recalled second basemen Chase Utley, the Phillies survived a late comeback attempt by the Milwaukee Brewers en route to a 4-3 victory. Randy Wolf started the game, and struck out seven on the way to his twelfth win of the season. With the St. Louis Cardinals coming into town for a weekend set, tonight was a must win for the Phightin Phils.

After watching the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Florida Marlins by a score of 6-4, the Phillies knew they had a chance to retake the lead in the hotly contested NL Wild Card race with a win tonight. With that in mind Randy Wolf took the mound looking to lead his team to victory against the Milwaukee Brewers in the series finale at the Vet.

Randy Wolf started the game fairly impressive, by striking out two of the first three hitters he faced, and only surrendering one hit in the first inning. Milwaukee opened the scoring though when Michel Young blasted a second inning home run off the Phillies southpaw.

True to the form of this team, the Phillies immediately clawed back and tied the game off an RBI single by Chase Utley, which scored Mike Lieberthal in the bottom of the third. The Phils would go on to score three runs in that inning. Those three runs, combined with a fourth inning RBI single by Lieberthal, which scored Placido Polanco, would be all the Phillies needed this evening.

Chase Utley was tonight's player of the game and deservedly so. The rookie, who has spent two seasons in triple A, went three for four with one RBI. If tonight is any indication, Utley is very capable of doing what is asked of him, and that is to add some offensive excitement to this team.

Things got a bit dicey following Wolf's exit in the seventh, as three Phillies relievers managed to give up a run off two hits in two innings of work. Terry Adams, Dan Plesac and Turk Wendell each did their best to keep the Brewers at bay before handing the ball to Mike Williams for the save.

Because of Jose Mesa's recent struggles the Phillies have adopted a closer by committee approach. Tonight Mike Williams pitched a no-hit ninth inning in which he only surrendered two walks while notching his 26th save of the season.

While this was not Randy Wolf's best outing of the season, he did put in an impressive seven inning performance in which he gave up just two runs off six hits while striking out seven. The victory improved his record to 12-7 this season. Brett Myers looks to set the tone for the weekend when he faces off against Woody Williams tomorrow night at the Vet.

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