Howard’s homers help sink Cards

Howard’s homers help sink Cards

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 6:41 pm
By: AP

By The Associated Press Ryan Howard showed off his stellar power during another terrific day at the plate for the Philadelphia Phillies. With the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field, Ken Griffey Jr. and the Cincinnati Reds showed they have some pop in their bats, too. Howard homered twice, drove in three runs and continued to inch his batting average toward a more respectable level, leading Philadelphia to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday. “He does about twice as much as other guys do,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. Howard lined a two-run shot to left-center off Braden Looper (9-7) in the first and connected again in the sixth. He now leads the National League with 27 homers, two better than teammate Chase Utley, and 83 RBIs. Griffey hit one of Cincinnati’s seven homers in a 12-7 win over the Chicago Cubs that averted a three-game sweep. David Ross went deep twice and Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Phillips, Adam Dunn and Joey Votto also connected with the wind blowing out at 12 mph. In other NL games, it was the New York Mets 7, San Francisco 3; Milwaukee 11, Colorado 1; Florida 5, the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 in 11 innings, and Arizona 7, Washington 5 in 11 innings. Pittsburgh beat the New York Yankees 4-2 in the makeup of an interleague game that was rained out June 26. Howard was batting in the .160s in early May, was at .215 coming into this month and was upset after hearing some mild boos from the finicky fans. But the former MVP is hitting .353 (18-for-51) with eight homers and 18 RBIs over a 13-game hitting streak that’s lifted his average to .234. He’s heard nothing but wild cheers after every deep home run. “There’s been a lot of adversity,” Howard said. “It’s always a grind.” Howard’s homers were enough run support for 45-year-old Jamie Moyer (8-6), who won for the first time since June 12. He allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings. Griffey’s 12th homer of the season got him within four of tying Sammy Sosa for fifth on the career list with 609. The Reds chased Ted Lilly (9-6) after 22/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. Bronson Arroyo (7-7) lasted five innings for Cincinnati, yielding five runs and seven hits. Mets 7, Giants 3 Fernando Tatis homered, doubled twice and drove in four runs to help New York win its sixth straight game. The Mets’ winning streak is their longest since a seven-game string in August 2006. David Wright doubled twice, and scored the go-ahead run in a four-run seventh. Scott Schoeneweis (1-2) won in relief of John Maine. The visiting Giants ended their scoreless streak at 21 innings, but still lost their fourth in a row. They scored in the fourth when John Bowker doubled and later raced home on a wild pitch by Maine. Tatis hit his fourth homer, a two-run drive off Sergio Romo (0-1) in the seventh. The Mets also got some bad news Thursday: Left fielder Moises Alou likely will miss the rest of the year because of a torn left hamstring, a setback that could mean the end of his 17-season career. Brewers 11, Rockies 1 Dave Bush had a career-high 13 strikeouts for Milwaukee, and Corey Hart celebrated making the All-Star team with his 15th homer. Bush (5-8) allowed one run and four hits over eight innings. Jorge De La Rosa (3-5) allowed seven runs in 32/3 innings for visiting Colorado. He gave up nine hits and dropped to 0-4 on the road. Marlins 5, Dodgers 4, 11 innings At Los Angeles, Hanley Ramirez homered with two outs in the 11th inning, capping the first five-hit game of his career for the Marlins. Ramirez, the starting shortstop for the NL in next Tuesday’s All-Star game, was 5-for-6 and raised his average to .317. The Marlins’ leadoff hitter singled his first three times up and doubled in his next at-bat. His 23rd homer of the season came off Brian Falkenborg (1-2) Joe Nelson (2-0) pitched two hitless innings for the win and Kevin Gregg got three outs for his 18th save in 24 attempts. Diamondbacks 7, Nationals 5, 11 innings Stephen Drew and Chad Tracy drove in runs in the 11th inning for Arizona, which blew a two-run lead in the ninth and a three-run lead in the 10th. Drew’s RBI double came with one out and Tracy’s run-scoring single was an out later. Both were off Luis Ayala (1-5). Chad Qualls (2-6) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the victory. Diamondbacks All-Star starter Dan Haren struck out a season-high nine, walked two and allowed three hits in eight-plus innings. Interleague Pirates 4, Yankees 2 At Pittsburgh, Nate McLouth hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh, Paul Maholm allowed two runs over eight innings and the Pirates won the last game of interleague play this season. Maholm (6-5), who started the June 26 game and was trailing 3-0 when it was rained out, had a five-hit shutout going with two outs and none on in the seventh. McLouth hit his 18th homer off Jose Veras (2-1) to put the Pirates in front again. Damaso Marte finished for his fourth save, helping end New York’s five-game winning streak. Despite the Yankees’ loss, the AL topped the NL in interleague play for a fifth consecutive season, going 149-103. Published in The Messenger 7.11.08

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