Series: Game 3 of 3

Philadelphia won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, April 4
Chi Cubs2
Game 2: Saturday, April 5
Chi Cubs0
Game 3: Sunday, April 6
Chi Cubs8

Phillies 3

(3-3, 3-3 away)

Cubs 8

(2-4, 1-2 home)

    2:20 PM ET, April 6, 2014

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    PHI 000010002 3 8 1
    CHC 40000400 - 8 6 1

    W: C. Villanueva (1-2)

    L: A. Burnett (0-1)

    Phillies-Cubs Preview


    Chase Utley has provided more than enough for the Philadelphia Phillies in the first two games of this series against the Chicago Cubs.

    Another such effort plus a solid outing from A.J. Burnett could give the Phillies a three-game sweep of the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday.

    Utley put more distance from his pedestrian numbers in spring training -- when he hit .217 with three RBIs -- by homering for the second straight game and going 3 for 3 in Saturday's 2-0 victory for Philadelphia (3-2). The veteran second baseman, a lifetime .338 hitter (27 for 80) at Wrigley, is 10 for 21 with four extra-base hits while hitting safely in all five games.

    "He looks good," said manager Ryne Sandberg of Utley. "He's feeling good, he's in great shape and he's producing quality at-bats right now. He's very healthy and he looks good."

    Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva (0-2, 13.50 ERA) has been the one who's looked good in the head-to-head meetings with Utley, however, striking him out five times while holding him hitless in nine at-bats. Villanueva would like to extend that success in his first start of the season after yielding two runs and four hits in taking a pair of losses in as many appearances.

    The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 14 lifetime games against the Phillies but did not receive a decision in his only start back in 2011.

    Domonic Brown, who drove in Utley for Philadelphia's other run Saturday with a fourth-inning single, is 4 for 7 with three RBIs in the series.

    Burnett (0-0, 1.50) will try to keep first-year Cubs manager Rick Renteria winless at Wrigley. The only run he allowed against Texas on Tuesday came in the sixth inning, and it was enough to make the right-hander lament his effort after the Phillies lost 3-2 on a ninth-inning rally.

    "Shutdown innings, you're going to hear that a lot," he told the team's official website after allowing seven hits in six innings. "That's what starters do. I think a shutdown inning in the sixth would've been huge. Would've kept them at bay a little bit. That sixth inning, you've got to shut them down."

    He shut down the Cubs with varying degrees of success last year pitching for Pittsburgh, going 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in three starts to move to 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 11 lifetime outings against them. The last two came at Wrigley, where he went 1-0 while yielding four runs and seven hits in 13 1/3 innings.

    Chicago (1-4) has yet to score more than three runs in any game, and despite 10 hits Saturday, the Cubs went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and are 4 for 40 in such situations thus far. Renteria, though, is optimistic for a breakthrough after Emilio Bonifacio and Starlin Castro were a combined 5 for 9 at the top of the order and Anthony Rizzo also added two hits.

    "You never stop talking about it until you start to understand it and get a good feel for it," Renteria told the Cubs' website. "I know we didn't come up with a victory today, but for me, it was a ballgame we were in the whole way."

    Castro is 9 for 22 lifetime versus Burnett, while Rizzo is 3 for 15 with a homer.

    Philadelphia's last three-game sweep at Wrigley came Aug. 11-13, 2009.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakL2W1
    Last 103-75-5

    Pitching Matchup

    A. Burnett
    8-18, 4.59 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 at PHI
    6.2 IP, 4 ER
    Dec = Loss
    C. Villanueva
    5-7, 4.64 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/22 at CHC
    2.0 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    1. B. Revere, CF E. Bonifacio, CF
    2. J. Rollins, SS R. Kalish, LF
    3. C. Utley, 2B A. Rizzo, 1B
    4. R. Howard, 1B N. Schierholtz, RF
    5. M. Byrd, RF L. Valbuena, 3B
    6. D. Brown, LF S. Castro, SS
    7. C. Ruiz, C R. Sweeney, CF
    8. C. Asche, 3B J. Baker, C
    9. A. Burnett, P C. Villanueva, P

    Research Notes

    A.J. Burnett limited hitters to just a .198 slugging percentage against his curveball in 2013 (fifth in NL). As a team, the Chicago Cubs slugged only .296 against curveballs (sixth worst in the majors). A.J. Burnett threw 1067 curveballs in 2013, which was the second most in MLB.

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