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Utley Homers in Return, But Phillies Lose to Pirates

Chase Utley homered in his first at-bat of the season, but the Pittsburgh Pirates spoiled his return by connecting three times and beating the Philadelphia Phillies 11-7 Wednesday night.

Associated Press photo/Michael Perez

Michael McKenry hit a three-run homer and Andrew McCutchen and Casey McGehee also went deep for Pittsburgh.

Utley missed the first 76 games this year because of a chronic problem in both knees. He had three hits, but it wasn’t enough on a night the Phillies got more encouraging news about their injured stars.

Former NL MVP Ryan Howard will start a rehab stint on Thursday night and two-time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay is making progress and could throw off a bullpen mound next week.

Until they’re all healthy, it won’t be easy for the five-time defending NL East champions.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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