Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/4/12

The Phillies offense was at its worst on Sunday against Carlos Zambrano and the Miami Marlins.

They played their 55th straight game without both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Manager Charlie Manuel slotted journeyman Hector Luna into the cleanup spot of his batting order. The team's lone extra base hit was a bunt double by Juan Pierre.

It wasn't a surprise, then, that the Phillies fell 5-1 in what was their 19th game this season where they've scored two runs or less.

The Phils trailed 5-0 after seven innings. They are 0-22 when they trail after seven innings this season.

"When we get down, yeah," Manuel said. "I'm going to tell you something, when we get down four, five, six runs, yeah, it is hard for us to come back. We used to come back much easier because we could hit the ball out of the yard more consistently. We had more guys who could hit the ball out of the yard."

At least Manuel got some good news after the game. Utley, who hasn't faced live pitching since October, will take his rehab from chronic knee pain to Clearwater, Fla., on Monday to begin playing in extended spring training games.

"There were times where I'd feel good one day and the next day I didn't feel good, so right now, I've been feeling good on a daily basis, so I'm heading down to Clearwater to get some at-bats," Utley said. "I plan on (being a designated hitter) to start out with. I'll be able to see some pitches, get my timing down, and when the time is right, I'll get out on the field and work there."

A year ago, when Utley missed the first 46 games of the season with right knee pain, he began a rehab in Clearwater on May 11 and was activated off the disabled list less than two weeks later. But he wouldn't guarantee a similar, quick return to Philadelphia this season.

"I don't have a time frame," Utley said. "My whole goal is to feel comfortable and feel like I can contribute."

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