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Utley named NL Player of the Month

Utley named NL Player of the Month

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The award voters dig the long ball.

At least, it appears that way for Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. He was named the "Sharp Presents the National League Player of the Month" on Saturday after compiling some juicy power numbers in April.

Utley hit .360 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles and 23 RBIs for the month. His slugging percentage, .766, and home run count lead the National League.

Utley hit home run No. 12 in a victory against the Giants on Friday night. Hitting the ball over the fence hasn't been much of a challenge for Utley so far this season. He picked up his first home run on Opening Day and never really cooled off. During a five-game stretch from April 17 to April 21, Utley hit six home runs. He didn't homer on April 22, then hit another one on April 23.

Utley's April tear is no surprise given his performance from last season. Despite missing 30 games because of an injury, he hit .332 with 22 home runs and 103 RBIs and was considered an MVP candidate.

Not far behind Utley as one of the top players of the first month was teammate Pat Burrell. The NL East-leading Phillies have two of the game's top sluggers. Burrell, who also received votes for the Player of the Month award, is hitting .330 with nine home runs and 28 RBIs. His most recent blast was a walk-off in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Giants on Friday night. The home run gave Philadelphia a 6-5 win.

Mark Dent is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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