LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley has been in the Major Leagues for 14 years, but it took until Wednesday's 14-inning, 6-4 loss to the Orioles for him to reach six hits in a game for the first time in his career.Utley led off for the Dodgers in the first with
LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley has been in the Major Leagues for 14 years, but it took until Wednesday's 14-inning, 6-4 loss to the Orioles for him to reach six hits in a game for the first time in his career.
Utley led off for the Dodgers in the first with a single, then struck out in the second, one of a Dodger Stadium-record 36 strikeouts in the game. From there, it was nothing but hits for the veteran second baseman.
Utley finished 6-for-7 with two doubles and two of the four Dodgers runs scored, raising his slash line up to .270/.349/.387. That respectable .349 on-base percentage out of the leadoff spot has been an asset all season for the Dodgers.
"Chase has been great," manager Dave Roberts said. "He finds a way to compete, put the barrel on the ball, and he found some outfield grass today. He's just a pro. The way he conducts his at-bats, I think he got three two-strike hits. Just used the whole field today."
Only two players older than Utley, 37, have recorded six hits in a game, and they're a couple of recognizable names: Cal Ripken Jr. in 1999 and Ty Cobb in 1925, who were both 38. The feat is also the Dodgers' first six-hit game since Shawn Green on May 23, 2002. Utley didn't have much to say after the game, saying a win would have been preferable to a personal milestone.
"It definitely would have been much better to have a win, but it is what is," Utley said. "We battled, they battled. We'll go get them tomorrow."
The Dodgers weren't hurting for hits during the game, finishing with 16 against just four runs scored. In total, the team was 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position against starter Kevin Gausman and the Baltimore bullpen.
"I thought we might have been trying to do much. Sometimes, you just have to put the ball in play," Roberts said. "Lately we've been doing well situationally, today's just one of those days."
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.