Hamels handcuffs struggling Braves

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Associated Press / July 4, 2008

Cole Hamels came within one out of his second shutout of the Braves this season, making the Phillies' second series sweep of the year in Atlanta look easy.

Hamels, who earned his first career shutout against the Braves May 15, gave up his only run with two outs in the ninth, and the Phillies beat the Braves, 4-1, last night to complete their second three-game sweep at Turner Field.

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Pedro Feliz hit home runs as the Phillies improved to 8-1 against the Braves this season.

The Phillies hit seven homers and outscored the Braves, 19-7, in the series, dropping Atlanta (40-46) a season-low six games below .500.

Hamels (9-5) gave up only three hits through eight scoreless innings before a leadoff double to Chipper Jones in the ninth. Hamels still hadn't allowed a runner to reach third until Brian McCann drove in Jones with a two-out double. Tom Gordon retired Jeff Francoeur for his second save.

Athletics 3, White Sox 2 - Justin Duchscherer pitched seven solid innings, Jack Cust and Donnie Murphy homered, and visiting Oakland snapped Chicago's seven-game win streak.

Javier Vazquez (7-7) took the loss despite pitching his first complete game in nearly a year and retiring the first 11 batters. Chicago took a 2-0 lead in the first on a leadoff homer by DeWayne Wise and an RBI double by Jermaine Dye before Duchscherer settled down.

Oakland, which had lost four of five, broke through in the fourth when Cust tied it with a two-run homer, and Murphy made it 3-2 with a solo drive in the fifth. That was enough for Duchscherer (9-5), the major league leader with a 1.96 ERA.

Tigers 8, Mariners 4 - Justin Verlander threw six strong innings, Michael Hollimon hit his first big league home run, and visiting Detroit hung on to beat Seattle.

Matt Joyce, promoted from Triple A Toledo May 5 and recalled Sunday, had a pair of doubles among his career-high four hits.

Verlander (5-9) allowed two runs on eight hits to win his third straight decision and for the sixth time in seven career starts against Seattle. He walked three and struck out three.

Giants 8, Cubs 3 - Tim Lincecum increased his National League-leading strikeout total to 122 with eight K's in six innings and singled in a run and scored, helping host San Francisco salvage a four-game split with Chicago.

Pinch hitter Rich Aurilia hit a three-run homer in the seventh for some key insurance, his seventh home run and third career pinch-hit homer.

Fred Lewis hit an RBI triple in San Francisco's four-run second and Jose Castillo added an RBI double in the inning.

Mets 11, Cardinals 1 - Jose Reyes's bases-clearing triple keyed a six-run third that included pitcher Mike Pelfrey's first RBI ever and visiting New York routed St. Louis.

Carlos Delgado had a two-run homer and three RBIs as the Mets pounded rookie Mitchell Boggs and earned a split in the four-game series.

The Mets had 39 hits and 25 runs the last three games after losing the opener, 7-1, and have double-digit hit totals four of the last five games.

Royals 10, Orioles 7 - Mark Grudzielanek went 4 for 5 and Kansas City scored seven runs in the sixth inning to gain a split of the four-game series in Baltimore.

The Royals overcame a four-run deficit and two homers by Aubrey Huff to earn the win. Kansas City took an early 3-0 lead, then yielded seven straight runs before sending 11 players to the plate in its most prolific inning of the season.

Rockies 6, Marlins 5 - Ryan Spilborghs's two-run single off closer Kevin Gregg with one out in the 11th inning rallied host Colorado over Florida.

Dodgers 5, Astros 2 - Chad Billingsley pitched eight strong innings and Andre Ethier homered for the second straight game to lead visiting Los Angeles over Houston.

Reds 5, Nationals 3 - Brandon Phillips had three hits and three RBIs, rallying host Cincinnati.

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