The Phillies activated second baseman Chase Utley from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and he homered in his first at-bat of the season.
Utley connected on a 2-2 pitch from Pittsburgh right-hander James McDonald in the first inning. Carlos Ruiz followed with a homer to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
A five-time All-Star at second base, Utley received a standing ovation during pregame introductions and when he came to the plate. He was mobbed by teammates in the dugout after circling the bases and came out for a curtain call.
Utley sat out the first 46 games last year before returning to have the least productive season of his career. He batted .259 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs.
To make room for Utley on the 25-man roster, infielder Michael Martinez was optioned to triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Utley, 33, began the 2012 season on the disabled list with bilateral chondromalacia. He appeared in nine games with single-A Clearwater as part of a rehabilitation assignment, batting .156 in 32 at-bats with one home run, five RBI, three walks and three runs scored.
He completed his rehab assignment last night with Lehigh Valley where he went 2-for-5 with a home run, RBI and run scored, playing all nine innings at second base.
With Utley in the lineup last season, the Phillies averaged 4.84 runs per game in which he appeared (499 R/103 G), compared to 3.6 runs a game in which he didn’t appear (214 R/59 G).
Martinez, 29, was batting .133 with a home run and four RBI in 16 games for the Phillies this year.