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Hamels becomes N.L.'s first nine-game winner

| Wednesday, June 13, 2007

PHILADELPHIA - Chase Utley drove in four runs to help Cole Hamels become the National League's first nine-game winner in the Philadelphia Phillies' 7-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.

Hamels (9-2) allowed two runs and six hits in eight innings, Utley was 3 for 3 with a two-run homer and the Phillies moved a season-best three games above .500 (34-31) with their sixth win in eight games.

Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye hit consecutive homers in the first inning, but the White Sox couldn't manage any more runs off Hamels.

A former first-round draft pick, Hamels has emerged into the staff ace in just his second season. The left-hander struck out eight -- one in each inning -- and walked one. He also leads the league in strikeouts (104) and homers allowed (16).

Interleague

Marlins 3, Indians 0

In Miami, Scott Olsen allowed three hits in seven innings to outpitch Fausto Carmona, and Miguel Olivo's three-run double helped Florida beat Cleveland.

Olivo chopped a ball over the head of Cleveland third baseman Casey Blake, clearing the bases with one out in the seventh and delivering the blow that sent Carmona (7-2) to his first loss in his last 11 starts. Carmona hadn't been beaten since his 2007 debut, April 13 against the Chicago White Sox.

Armando Benitez pitched a perfect eighth for Florida, and Kevin Gregg finished it off for his 10th save in as many chances.

Red Sox 2, Rockies 1

In Boston, Tim Wakefield pitched eight innings of four-hit ball, and David Ortiz went 3 for 3 with a double that helped break an eighth-inning tie, as Boston beat Colorado.

Wakefield (6-7) won for just the second time in six starts. He struck out three and walked one before Jonathan Papelbon pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

Aaron Cook (4-3) allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out four in 71/3 innings, as the Rockies failed to return to .500 for the first time since April 13.

Devil Rays 11, Padres 4

In St. Petersburg, Fla., Carlos Pena hit an eighth-inning grand slam and Delmon Young delivered a pair of run-scoring singles off Greg Maddux, as Tampa Bay came from behind three times before pulling away for a victory.

Pena, who also had a RBI double in the seventh, hit his fourth career grand slam off Doug Brocail to finish a five-run eighth.

Young had RBI singles in the second and fourth as Maddux, eyeing a major league-best 20th career interleague win, was unable to hold leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3.

Nationals 7, Orioles 4

In Baltimore, Ryan Church hit the first of three home runs off Daniel Cabrera, and the Washington Nationals received another strong performance from converted reliever Micah Bowie in a victory over the Orioles.

Church hit a solo shot, and Ryan Zimmerman and Brian Schneider both connected with a man on for the Nationals. Felipe Lopez ended an 0-for-19 skid with a two-run double and received three of the 10 walks allowed by Baltimore pitchers.

Bowie (3-2) allowed three runs and three hits in six innings. Since leaving the bullpen to replace injured Jerome Williams in the starting rotation, Bowie is 3-0 in five starts, and the Nationals are 5-0 in those games.

Reds 5, Angels 3

In Cincinnati, Ken Griffey Jr.'s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh inning helped Cincinnati survive an overpowering performance by Kelvim Escobar, rallying the Reds to a victory over the Angels.

Escobar struck out a career-high 14 -- including Griffey twice -- during six innings, leaving after his pitch count reached 116. As soon as he was gone, the Reds got rolling.

Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 1

In New York, Chien-Ming Wang outpitched Brandon Webb in a marquee matchup of exceptional sinkerballers, and streaking Bobby Abreu hit an early three-run homer to help New York beat Arizona.

The Yankees (31-31) won for the 10th time in 12 tries following a five-game skid, reaching .500 for the first time since they were 16-16 after beating Texas on May 9.

Twins 7, Braves 3

In Minneapolis, Luis Castillo did it all for the Twins.

Castillo had three hits, drove in two runs and made a couple of stellar plays at second base in a victory over Atlanta.

Royals 8, Cardinals 1

In Kansas City, Mo., Brian Bannister won his third consecutive start with seven scoreless innings and Esteban German had three hits and three RBI to lead Kansas City.

Bannister (3-3), who failed to make the club out of spring training, gave up seven hits, walked two and tied his season-high with six strikeouts.

Astros 5, Athletics 4, 11 innings

In Houston, Brad Ausmus drove in his fourth run of the night with the game-winning single in the 11th inning, and the Astros overcame another blown save by Brad Lidge to beat Oakland.

Ausmus also had an RBI double and a two-run homer, though none of that mattered when Mark Kotsay led off the ninth inning with a homer off Lidge, who was trying to close out a game for the first time since April, when manager Phil Garner demoted him from the role.

Mariners 5, Cubs 3, 13 innings

In Chicago, Willie Bloomquist singled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the 13th inning, and Seattle beat the Chicago Cubs for its season-high fifth straight win.

All of the wins in the streak have come in the final at-bat, and the latest occurred after Chicago's Michael Barrett drove in Derrek Lee with a single to tie it at 3-3 in the eighth.

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