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Utley out of home opener because of flu

Utley out of home opener because of flu play video for Utley out of home opener because of flu

PHILADELPHIA -- Chase Utley did not play on Tuesday in the Phillies' home opener -- a 10-4 loss to the Brewers at Citizens Bank Park -- because of the flu. He was sent home from the ballpark.

It is a big loss for the Phillies' lineup. Utley entered Tuesday leading the National League with a 1.369 OPS.

Manager Ryne Sandberg said Utley played through the illness on Sunday in Chicago. Utley came to Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday morning, but the skipper had to send him home.

"He was sick as a dog," Sandberg said. "I told him to go home. He wasn't looking good at all."

Carlos Ruiz replaced Utley in the No. 3 hole in the starting lineup, the first time the catcher has batted in that spot in the Major Leagues. Ruiz entered Tuesday hitting .235 in five games this season.

"He's a guy I like a lot of places in the lineup, and in some ways, it keeps the other guys in place with some continuity there with the way that the guys have been swinging the bats," Sandberg said.

Sandberg also said pitching coach Bob McClure "is a little under the weather." McClure will be in the dugout during Tuesday's game, though.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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