PHILADELPHIA – Chase Utley homered twice and drove in three runs, Pedro Feliz added a three-run shot and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 7-1 Tuesday night for their fifth straight victory.

Raul Ibanez also went deep for the Phillies, who won despite losing ace Cole Hamels early for the second consecutive start. The left-hander came out in the fifth inning after spraining his left ankle trying to field John Lannan’s bunt.

Hamels, making his fourth start, appeared to be on his way to his first win. He allowed four hits and struck out four in 4 1-3 innings, leaving with a 5-0 lead.

Marlins 7, Mets 4

NEW YORK – Jorge Cantu homered twice and drove in five runs and the Marlins ended one of the wilder rides in baseball history, beating the Mets to snap a seven-game losing streak.

The Marlins’ skid started immediately after they’d won seven in a row. Florida became the first NL team to win at least seven straight and also lose at least seven straight in April, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

Cantu hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, then lined a tiebreaking, three-run drive in the seventh.

Florida won minus All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who was hit by a pitch in the right hand the previous night. The Mets were missing first baseman Carlos Delgado and second baseman Luis Castillo, both nursing recent injuries.

Braves 2, Cardinals 1

ATLANTA – Matt Diaz drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single off Kyle McClellan in the eighth inning, rallying the Braves to a win over the Cardinals.

Kyle Lohse pitched six scoreless innings and left with a 1-0 lead, but he was denied his fourth straight win as the Braves took advantage of McClellan’s shaky eighth.

McClellan (1-1) walked Omar Infante, Chipper Jones and Jeff Francoeur to set the stage for Diaz’s go-ahead hit with two outs.

McClellan threw ball three behind Diaz’s back before giving up the two-run single up the middle on the 3-2 pitch.

Peter Moylan (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth after Jo-Jo Reyes allowed only three hits, one walk and one run in seven innings.

Astros 8, Reds 3

CINCINNATI – Wandy Rodriguez allowed one run in seven innings and Ivan Rodriguez homered and doubled, helping the Astros extend their three-year winning streak at Great American Ball Park over the Reds.

The Astros have won their last 11 games in Cincinnati, a streak that started late in the 2007 season and is the longest current run of dominance in the majors. Houston is 32-15-1 at the hitter-friendly ballpark that opened in 2003.

It’s not only their hitters who like it.

Wandy Rodriguez (2-2) leads a staff that has prospered at Great American, going 3-0 at the ballpark. His batterymate, Ivan Rodriguez, homered off Aaron Harang (2-3), who lasted only five innings.


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