MRI for Utley on Tuesday

Charlie Manuel said after the Phillies' 7-3 loss at Cincinnati that Chase Utley injured a hand during the game. (Al Behrman/AP)

In the wake of a 7-3 loss to the Reds that dropped them to 40-34 and 3.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East, the Phillies were left to hope that they didn't lose their star second baseman.

Chase Utley injured his right thumb while sliding head first into second base while trying unsuccessfully to stretch a single into a double in the fourth inning.

Utley remained in the game, grounding out in the sixth and making several fielding plays (including an error), but was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the ninth with the Phillies down 7-1.

There was no real sense of the severity of Utley's injury in the clubhouse after the game. Several players said the first time they realized he was hurt was when he took himself out of the game in the ninth. Assistant GM Scott Proefrock said Utley will be evaluated today, which will include an MRI.

Utley declined to comment through a team spokesman.

"Hopefully he's not seriously, seriously hurt, but for him to leave the agme, that in itself says that, you know. . .," centerfielder Shane Victorino said, leaving the thought unfinished. "I mean that's the last guy who's going to take himself out of the game, so he's obviously hurting."

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