A week ago, they rolled out the batting cage at Bright House Field so Chase Utley could take a postgame round of batting practice.

Utley hit and hit and hit.

For 40 minutes.

Those extra swings worked.

Utley has eight hits, including three homers, in his last four games. He had three of the Phillies’ seven hits in Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Red Sox. Utley and Ryan Howard had back-to-back homers in the eighth inning. Utley also homered twice on Saturday.

Most importantly, Utley’s knees are responding well and allowing him to be on the field. He has played back-to-back days and will play Monday and Tuesday as he gears up for opening day.

• Cliff Lee gave up nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed six runs, two of which were unearned, walked none and struck out seven.

Lee hasn’t had a great spring – 5.94 ERA – but he’s pleased with the way he’s throwing the ball and says he’s ready for the regular season. He will make his final tune-up start Friday in Philadelphia.

• The Phillies made a minor-league trade, sending right-handed pitcher Julio Rodriguez to Baltimore in exchange for outfielder Ronnie Welty.