By Jack Ryan
The Phillies are 52-61, eight games out of the last wild card spot inn the National League, and they have extra incentive tonight against the Dodgers in L. A.:
Chase Utley will try to beat his former team beginning in tonight’s series opener between the Phillies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. It will be the first time Utley has faced the Phillies since they traded him to Los Angeles last August for a pair of Minor Leaguers.
Utley entered Sunday hitting .251 with 18 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 32 RBIs and a .703 OPS.
Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin (3-4, 4.77 ERA) has struggled in his last two starts, going 0-1 with an 11.70 ERA. He has allowed 15 hits, 13 runs, seven walks, three home runs and has struck out five in just 10 innings.
Utley has hit leadoff in 80 games this season. He hit leadoff 11 times in his entire Phillies career. He spent most of his time hitting third, which he did 1,027 times.
Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias is 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts). He allowed six hits and three runs in three innings in a relief appearance last week against the Rockies.