WASHINGTON – Possibly playing his final home game in D.C., Alfonso Soriano homered in his first at-bat Thursday, and the Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5 for their season-high sixth consecutive victory.

Soriano’s 32nd homer was his sixth leadoff shot of the season, tying for the major league lead. He’s at the center of talks as Monday’s trade deadline approaches, and the Nationals now embark on a nine-game road trip.

Also a candidate to leave via trade in the coming days is Livan Hernandez (8-8). He retired the last 10 batters he faced.

Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 2

PHILADELPHIA – Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 27 games and Cory Lidle (8-7) boosted his trade value with four-hit ball over eight innings.

Mike Lieberthal homered for the first time since last September for the Phillies, who won the last two games of the three-game series.

Utley hit a soft liner to center leading off the fifth inning against Diamondbacks starter Claudio Vargas (8-7) to extend the longest hitting streak in the major leagues this season and equal the third-longest streak in team history.

Marlins 6, Braves 1

ATLANTA – Scott Olsen pitched six shutout innings, Matt Treanor hit his second career homer and Florida won a series in Atlanta for the first time since 2002.

Olsen (9-4) allowed only two hits and retired the last 12 hitters he faced on a sweltering day. He also had two singles at the plate, including a run-scoring hit in the sixth when the Marlins scored three runs to break open the game.

Reds 8, Astros 4

HOUSTON – Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr. homered and Cincinnati starter Elizardo Ramirez struck out seven straight hitters.

Dunn went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and Ramirez (4-6) went 6 2-3 innings to win for the first time since June 25, allowing six hits and striking out eight. He struck out seven in a row from the third to fifth innings.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 4

CHICAGO – Todd Walker and Michael Barrett hit back-to-back homers, the fourth time Chicago did it this week. The Cubs used six relievers and they combined for 5 2-3 scoreless innings. Ryan Novoa (1-0) won it, with Ryan Dempster closing for his 18th save.

Orioles 6, Royals 4

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fernando Tatis, starting in the major leagues for the first time since June 13, 2003, had two hits, drove in a run and scored two runs to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

on Thursday night.

Tatis, released by Tampa Bay in spring training in 2004 and did not play professional baseball the past two seasons, doubled in the seventh and scored on a fielding error by third baseman Mark Teahen.

In the Orioles’ two-run eighth, Javy Lopez led off with a double, advanced on Corey Patterson’s bunt single and scored on pinch-hitter Nick Markakis’ groundout. Tatis drove in the second run with a groundout to make it 6-3.

Kevin Millar homered in the sixth off reliever Brandon Duckworth (1-5).

Orioles right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who entered the game with a 6.73 ERA, the second-highest in the American League, allowed two runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings, but the Royals stranded 10 runners in the first six innings. Lopez (7-11) lowered his ERA to 6.59.

Chris Ray worked the ninth to earn his 26th save in 27 opportunities.

Mark Grudzielanek and Matt Stairs each had three of the Royals’ 14 hits.


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