x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Four victories on the bounce for Philadelphia

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit consecutive home runs in the fifth inning as East-leading Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3.

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit consecutive home runs in the fifth inning as East-leading Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 in the National League to record a fourth consecutive win on Monday. Adrian Gonzalez hit his major league-leading 21st homer in the sixth before Scott Hairston's shot pulled the Padres to 4-3, but the Phillies added an insurance run in the eighth when pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs doubled with one out and scored on Shane Victorino's two-out double.

The Phillies stretched their lead over the New York Mets at the top of the East to one and a half games after Andy LaRoche contributed three RBIs as the Pittsburgh Pirates scored eight unanswered runs to beat them 8-5. Hanley Ramirez and Jeremy Hermida had RBI singles in Florida's five-run sixth as the Marlins rallied to beat the Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 7-4. Cristhian Martinez (1-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings to earn his first major league win before Matt Lindstrom pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 10th save in 12 opportunities.

St Louis failed to take advantage and remain a game behind the Brewers after Edinson Volquez left the field on his first start after coming off the disabled list, but Mike Lincoln and four other Cincinnati relievers allowed one earned run in eight innings as the Reds rallied to down the Cardinals 5-3. Elsewhere, Roy Oswalt recorded a season-high eight strike outs as the Houston Astros snapped a four-game losing streak at home with a 4-1 win over Colorado.

* PA Sport