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Phillies Ride Hot Bats of Ibanez and Utley to Five-Game Win Streak

DENVER - APRIL 10:  Left fielder Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action on Opening Day at Coors Field on April 10, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Phillies 10-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
C KSenior Analyst IMay 31, 2016

Pat who?

Rauuuuuuuuuuuul (Ibanez, that is), as the Phillies' faithful like to call him, sure has brought the Philadelphia Phillies' offense to the next level.

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Shane Victorino are big helps, too.

Especially that Utley guy who's batting .357 with seven home runs and 20 RBI this season.

So much for out until June, eh Worldwide Leader in Sports?

Back to Mr. Ibanez.

Hitting at .355 with seven home runs and 17 RBI—the voices questioning the departure of Pat Burrell are slowly backing into a dark corner.

Ibanez has hit the ball to all fields and does so during the most important part of games.

He already has a walk off home run, and gave the Phillies the lead in the eighth inning of Monday's 13-11 win over the Nationals by hitting a grand slam.

Tonight, Ibanez continued his consistent play with a single right back up the middle and a home run to the deepest part of Citizens Bank Park in left center.

With the help of Ibanez and company, the Phillies have climbed their way to just a half game out of first in the NL East on the hands of a five game winning streak.

The streak began with a three game sweep of the Florida Marlins, who have fallen from 11-1 to 12-8, losing seven out of their last eight.

The fourth win came against the awful Washington Nationals.

Yet, the win didn't come easy.

It took two grand salami's and more to give the Phillies a come-from-behind win for the ninth time this season, which leads the majors.

The fifth came earlier this evening in a 7-1 trouncing of the Nationals.

Cole Hamels, who had not pitched particularly well—er, terrible—so far this season, came out to pitch a beautiful four and a third innings.

Well, ah, you see...he...uh...he "rolled" his ankle.

No, this isn't basketball, but Cole somehow managed to "roll" his ankle.

He left the game after throwing one warmup pitch, yet appeared to walk off the field just fine. He had thrown 61 pitches in 4.1 innings, allowing four hits and no runs while striking out four.

The severity of the injury is not yet clear, yet it is being called a sprain at this point.

Anyway, the Phillies still managed to pull out the 7-1 victory.

Chase Utley hit two home runs (solo shot and a two run home run), Pedro Feliz hit a three run home run, and Raul Ibanez hit a solo shot of his own to account for the seven runs.

Chad Durbin let up the sole Nationals' run off the bat of Adam Dunn, who clobbered a pitch into the right field seats.

Durbin pitched 3.2 innings, with the Dunn home run being the only hit he allowed.

Durbin would collect the win.

Clay Condrey, the best reliever for the team thus far, finished the game off in the ninth, allowing a hit but nothing more, locking down the Phillies' fifth straight win.

The Phillies will go for their sixth straight on Wednesday night against the Nationals.

They will also be trying for the sweep. Brett Myers will take the ball for the Phillies, while Scott Olsen will toe the rubber for the Nationals.

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