Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija #29 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on April 5, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chase Utley went 3-for-3 and homered for the second day in a row, and Cliff Lee pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Dominic Brown drove in Utley for the Phillies' other run with a single in the fourth inning.
Lee (2-0) allowed 10 hits and had just one 1-2-3 inning. But it never felt as if he was in trouble. He worked on the edges of both sides of the plate and kept the Cubs hitters off balance. Four of his six strikeouts were called third strikes.
The Cubs wasted another strong start from Jeff Samardzija (0-1), who allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out eight.
Utley ensured that Lee would take the mound with a lead when he cranked a 1-1 fastball from Samardzija into the right-field bleachers for a two-out solo home run in the top of the first inning. It was Utley's second homer of the season.
Utley then led off the fourth with a walk, took second on a single by Ryan Howard and scored on a single by Brown to make it 2-0. Utley, who has been bothered by knee problems in recent years, showed how healthy he's feeling on the play. Brown's hit was a liner to left-center. Utley got a quick read on the ball and raced around third to score without a play.
With Lee painting the corners, the two-run advantage seemed huge. The Cubs' managed two hits in each the first, third and seventh innings, but couldn't produce a big hit break through - just like things have gone so far this season.