Utley, Howard homers power Phillies

June 28, 2008 8:26:54 PM PDT
Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit 400-foot homers in the third inning and the Philadelphia Phillies held on for an 8-6 victory over the Texas Rangers on a rainy Saturday night.

After Utley hit a 418-foot shot into the Rangers' bullpen in right-center field and Pat Burrell drew a walk, Howard hit a blast that landed in the second deck of seats above the bullpen for a 6-2 lead.

Both homers came off Vicente Padilla (10-4), who was denied by his former team of matching the American League lead for victories. The right-hander was 8-1 his previous 11 starts and had won three in a row.

Left-hander Cole Hamels (8-5) struck out eight over seven innings for the NL East-leading Phillies, who won for only the second time in 10 games but still had a two-game lead over Florida.

Brad Lidge worked a scoreless ninth for his 19th save. He gave up a pair of hits before ending the game with consecutive strikeouts of Josh Hamilton, the major league RBIs leader, and AL batting leader Milton Bradley.

The game was never stopped, despite lightning that prompted stadium officials to warn fans in the upper sections about the dangers of the weather, and rain that fell for the final five innings. There was a heavy downpour while the Rangers batted in the sixth.

Jimmy Rollins was thrown out at the plate trying for an inside-the-park homer in the sixth, after his liner ricocheted off the angled wall in right-center and past Hamilton.

Rollins never slowed down, but the right fielder retrieved the ball and got it to Ian Kinsler for a perfect relay throw to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who made a sweeping tag of the sliding Rollins for the inning-ending out. Rollins was credited with an RBI triple, since Chris Coste had already scored to make it 7-4.

Michael Young homered and Kinsler had his second straight three-hit game for the Rangers, who missed another chance to move two games over .500 for the first time under second-year manager Ron Washington.

Texas (41-41) has gotten one game over .500 six times this season, and has lost the next game each time - three times in the last week.

Utley's first homer in 12 games was his 23rd of the season, matching Florida's Dan Uggla for tops in the major leagues. Howard has 20 homers and 67 RBIs, which gave him the NL lead in that category.

Utley also had two doubles, driving home another run in the seventh.

Padilla spent five seasons in Philadelphia, where he was twice awas in trouble early.

After Padilla walked Howard and allowed consecutive singles to load the bases in the second, Jayson Werth hit a two-run single to tie it at 2. Pedro Feliz then scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch by Padilla that put the Phillies ahead to stay.

The Rangers, who got Young's two-run homer in the first, scored twice in the eighth against Philadelphia relievers.

Chad Durbin, who could be in line to replace struggling Brett Myers in the starting rotation, gave up a leadoff single to Kinsler but picked him off before Young grounded out before four straight batters reached. J.C. Romero then walked Brandon Boggs with the bases loaded before striking out Saltalamacchia to end the threat. Notes: The Phillies have five homers and 15 runs in their first two games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, where they had never played before this weekend. They had only two homers and 15 runs their previous nine games. ... Kinsler leads the AL with 107 hits, and has an 11-game hitting streak.