With Cincinnati's Edwin Encarnacion on first and Josh Hamilton on second, Reds catcher David Ross swung on Cole Hamels' first offering and grounded it directly to third baseman Abraham Nunez, who started the 5-4-3 around-the-horn triple play.
Utley's relay to first baseman Wes Helms beat Ross by a step.
"I ran as hard as I could," said Ross.
It was the first triple play in the Majors this season and the first one turned by the Phillies since May 15, 1999, against the New York Mets, when Mike Piazza grounded into a 6-4-3 triple-whammy.
"It was just what the doctor ordered," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of the play, which helped Hamels go the distance for the first complete game of his career.
"It was one of the most exciting things I've ever had happen," Hamels said.
"Just the way the inning was going -- no outs and having to bear down -- having that play just come out of nowhere was very helpful and so exciting at the same point, because I know I [likely] won't have one of those anytime soon."
The last triple play turned against the Reds was on May 19, 1997, when catcher Eddie Taubensee lined into a triple play against San Diego.
"I've seen a couple of triple plays, but not a 5-4-3 like that," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "All I can tell you is that it was a tailor-made triple play."
Brian Connors Manke is a contributor to MLB.com. Jeff Wallner also contributed to his report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.