Utley's hit streak ends at 35 games; Phillies beat Mets

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chase Utley knew his hitting streak would end

sooner or later. He just would have preferred later.

Utley went 0-for-5 Friday night in Philadelphia's 5-3 victory

over the New York Mets, ending a 35-game hitting streak that tied

him for 10th longest in major league history.

Utley's hitless night overshadowed home runs by David Dellucci

and Ryan Howard that carried the Phillies to their fourth straight

win and ninth in 11 games. Utley struck out twice and was

robbed on his best chance for a hit when Mets second baseman Jose

Valentin ranged to his right in the seventh inning, backhanded his

grounder up the middle and threw him out.

Elias Says

Chase Utley
Chase Utley's hitting streak ended at 35 games. It was the longest streak by a strictly left-handed batter in more than 60 years -- since Tommy Holmes set what was then a modern-day National League record with a 37-game streak in 1945. (Pete Rose subsequently broke Holmes's mark.)

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For a moment, the All-Star second baseman thought he had his


"I wasn't sure," Utley said. "He's a pretty slick fielder."

Valentin, who pinch hit for Mets starter Orlando Hernandez in

the sixth and stayed in to play second, said he got a good start on


"As soon as I caught it, I knew I had to make a good throw,"

Valentin said. "He's fast. Sometimes something like that has to

end. It's good to get on a run like that. But you need luck to keep

it going."

Utley agreed.

"I felt comfortable," Utley said. "It takes a little luck,


Mets manager Willie Randolph shrugged off the streak.

"There's nothing scientific about it, that's for sure," he

said. "He had a nice little run. Let him start another one when he

leaves here."

Utley had one more chance but he struck out leading off in the

ninth inning. When he got to the dugout, his teammates

congratulated him.

"I got pats on the back," Utley said. "I really didn't want

it to go extra innings. It was a good run."

Howard followed Utley with his NL-leading 37th homer to give the

Phillies a 5-3 lead.

Dellucci led off the seventh against reliever Darren Oliver

(4-1) with his ninth homer for Philadelphia, which improved to 13-8

since the All-Star break.

"I tried to get it in," Oliver said. "It got too much of the

plate. Dellucci can hit a little bit."

Ryan Madson (10-7) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win

and Tom Gordon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 27th save

in 30 chances.

Utley's streak is the longest in the majors this season and the

second longest in franchise history, trailing only Jimmy Rollins'

38-game run. Rollins hit in the final 36 games last season and the

first two this year.

Luis Castillo of Florida (2002), Ty Cobb of Detroit (1917) and

Fred Clarke of Louisville (1895) also had 35-game streaks. Utley

also tied Castillo for the major league record for a second


The major league record is 56 games in a row by the Yankees' Joe

DiMaggio in 1941.

"Fifty-six games is unbelievable," Utley said.

In the second inning, singles by Shane Victorino and Abraham

Nunez gave Philadelphia runners at first and third with one out

against Hernandez. Pitcher Randy Wolf hit a sacrifice fly to center

to make it 1-0.

The Mets came back in the third.

With one out, Jose Reyes beat out an infield single, the first

of his three hits, and Paul Lo Duca walked. Carlos Beltran followed

with an RBI double off the left-field wall that just missed being a

three-run homer. Carlos Delgado added a sacrifice fly to put New

York in front.

Philadelphia tied it in the fourth when Victorino opened with a

double, moved to third on a sacrifice and scored when second base

umpire Bob Davidson called a balk on Hernandez. Nunez then singled,

moved up on an infield out and reached third as a second balk was

called on Hernandez. But Rollins struck out, ending the inning.

Hernandez tripled and scored in the fourth but Howard doubled in

Dellucci in the fifth to tie it at 3.

Hernandez worked six innings, allowing three runs and seven hits

with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Wolf, making just his second start after reconstructive elbow

surgery, lasted just four innings, throwing pitches that ranged

from 63 to 90 mph with various stops in between. He allowed three

runs and seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

Game notes
Mets reliever Roberto Hernandez reclaimed uniform No. 39

from LHP Pedro Feliciano, who switched to No. 25. "I'll have to do

something for him," Hernandez said. "I don't know what yet." ...

Philadelphia stole four bases in the first two innings, including

the 24th and 25th of the season in the first by Rollins. ... Reyes'

stolen base in the fourth was his 45th of the season, tops in the

majors. ... Hernandez struck out Nunez in the sixth on a 52-mph