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Hamels, Phillies stay hot

Iguchi homers in win over Cubs

Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand follows the flight of his three-run homer in the third inning. Philadelphia's Aaron Rowand follows the flight of his three-run homer in the third inning. (JERRY LAI/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Cole Hamels pitched eight impressive innings, Tadahito Iguchi hit his first homer with Philadelphia, and the Phillies beat Ted Lilly and the host Chicago Cubs, 4-1, last night for their fourth straight win.

Aaron Rowand also hit a three-run drive for the Phillies, who have won nine of 10 and trail the National League East-leading Mets by three games. Philadelphia was 8 1/2 games back of New York June 2.

The Phillies also made a move before the game to strengthen their pitching staff, acquiring Kyle Lohse from the Cincinnati Reds for a minor leaguer.

Hamels (12-5) allowed one run and three hits, struck out eight, and walked two. The 23-year-old lefthander retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, and also set down his last nine batters.

Brett Myers pitched a perfect ninth to complete the three-hitter and earn his seventh save.

Ryan Theriot homered in the sixth inning for the Cubs, who remain a half-game behind the idle Brewers in the NL Central.

Already battling injuries, the Phillies lost right fielder Shane Victorino in the fourth inning. He strained his right calf trying to beat out a double play and will have a precautionary MRI exam today.

Lilly (11-5) had won six straight games and seven of his last eight, but was tagged for four runs and seven hits in five innings against the Phillies. It was his first loss since June 5.

Iguchi walked and Ryan Howard doubled ahead of Rowand's two-out homer in the third. It was his 15th of the season.

Iguchi, who was acquired from the White Sox Friday, led off the fifth inning with a homer on an 0-1 pitch from Lilly. Iguchi is 4 for 10 with two RBIs with the Phillies.

Both Iguchi and Rowand played for the Chicago White Sox when they won the world championship in 2005.

Mariners 2, Angels 0 -- Ichiro Suzuki had three hits, Miguel Batista (11-7) surrendered four singles in seven innings, and host Seattle won the opener of a key AL West series.

Suzuki scored one run and drove in the other for the Mariners, who have won four straight and moved within three games of the division-leading Angels.

Tigers 5, Athletics 2 -- Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco both had three hits and an RBI as visiting Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak.

Jordan Tata, brought up to take injured Kenny Rogers's spot in Detroit's rotation, gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings in his first major league start. A 16th-round draft pick in 2003, Tata walked two and struck out five, including Nick Swisher three times.

Twins 3, Royals 1 -- Scott Baker sparkled over eight crisp innings and Joe Mauer drove in three runs to lead host Minnesota over Kansas City.

Baker (5-4) faced one batter over the minimum, struck out seven and allowed two hits, both in the fourth inning. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth for his 23d save in 25 opportunities.

Gil Meche (7-8) was nearly as good for the Royals, whose four-game winning streak ended. After struggling in the first inning, Meche settled down and allowed two runs through seven innings, striking out five.

It was the third win a row for the Twins, who moved within six games of American League wild-card leading Cleveland, which was idle.

Devil Rays 5, Blue Jays 4 -- Carl Crawford, who scored the tying run as a pinch runner in the ninth inning, led off the bottom of the 11th with a homer to lift host Tampa Bay.

Crawford, who was out of the starting lineup for three games because of a sprained right wrist, hit a 3-2 pitch from Brian Wolfe (2-1) over the fence in center field for Tampa Bay, which had lost eight of nine.