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Utley's Hitting Streak Is Over

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Chase Utley struck out in his final chance to keep his hitting streak alive. He could have gotten another shot to keep it going but it would have meant the Philadelphia Phillies giving up the lead and threatening their winning streak. ``I really didn't want it to go extra innings,'' Utley said. ``It was a good run.''

The second baseman went 0-for-5 Friday night to bring to an end his 35-game winning streak, the longest in the majors this season and tied for eighth on the all-time list. The Phillies won their fourth straight, however, beating the New York Mets 5-3.


Utley, who didn't talk about the streak while it was going on, praised Joe DiMaggio's record run in 1941.

``Fifty-six games is unbelievable,'' Utley said.

Thirty-five isn't too shabby.

``There's nothing scientific about it, that's for sure,'' Mets manager Willie Randolph said. ``He had a nice little run. Let him start another one when he leaves here.''

In other NL games on Friday, it was: Pittsburgh 6, Chicago 0; Cincinnati 5, Atlanta 4; Los Angeles 6, Florida 2; Milwaukee 4, St. Louis 3; Houston 8, Arizona 7; Washington 6, San Diego 2; and Colorado 5, San Francisco 2.

Utley's hitless night overshadowed home runs by David Dellucci and Ryan Howard that carried the Phillies to their ninth win in 11 games.

Utley's best chance for a hit came when Mets second baseman Jose Valentin ranged to his right in the seventh inning, backhanded his grounder up the middle and threw him out.

For a moment, Utley thought he had a hit.

``I wasn't sure,'' he said. ``He's a pretty slick fielder.''

Valentin, who pinch hit for Mets starter Orlando Hernandez in the sixth and stayed in to play second, said he got a good start on the ball.

``As soon as I caught it, I knew I had to make a good throw,'' Valentin said. ``He's fast. Sometimes something like that has to end. It's good to get on a run like that. But you need luck to keep it going.''

Dellucci led off the seventh against reliever Darren Oliver (4-1) with his ninth homer for Philadelphia, which improved to 13-8 since the All-Star break.

``I tried to get it in,'' Oliver said. ``It got too much of the plate. Dellucci can hit a little bit.''

Howard followed Utley's final at-bat with his NL-leading 37th homer to give the Phillies a 5-3 lead.

Ryan Madson (10-7) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win and Tom Gordon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 27th save.

Hernandez, who gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, tripled and scored in the fourth but Howard doubled in Dellucci in the fifth to tie it at 3.

Randy Wolf, making his second start after reconstructive elbow surgery, went four innings, allowing three runs and seven hits.

Pirates 6, Cubs 0

Tom Gorzelanny (2-2) gave up two singles over eight innings, combining with Josh Sharpless on the three-hit shutout. Xavier Nady went 4-for-5 with three doubles for visiting Pittsburgh, which is 12-8 since the All-Star break.

Carlos Zambrano (12-4) lost for the first time since May 31. He was 9-0 in his previous 11 starts, but gave up a season-high nine hits and five runs in six innings.

Reds 5, Braves 4

Royce Clayton hit his second homer in three games and Edwin Encarnacion added a two-run double to help host Cincinnati snap a five-game losing streak.

Aaron Harang (12-7) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings to improve to 3-1 in his last five starts.

Chuck James (4-3), making his seventh major league start, didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning and gave up four runs and two hits in 5 1-3 innings for the Braves, who have lost six of eight games.

Dodgers 6, Marlins 2

Derek Lowe (9-7) allowed five hits and one run in seven innings and Kenny Lofton homered and drove in two runs to lead visiting Los Angeles to its seventh straight victory.

Anibal Sanchez (4-2) lost his second straight start after winning four of his first five. He went six innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 3

Prince Fielder went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and Milwaukee extended host St. Louis' losing streak to eight games.

Doug Davis (7-6) worked into the sixth and Francisco Cordero got the last three outs for his third save in as many chances with the Brewers.

Chris Carpenter (10-6) needed only 65 pitches to get through six innings. Juan Encarnacion had two hits and two RBIs for the Cardinals, who have been outscored 54-29 during their skid.

Astros 8, Diamondbacks 7

Mike Lamb and Willy Taveras hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning for visiting Houston, which had to hang on as reliever Brad Lidge couldn't close for his 25th save.

Lamb _ batting for pitcher Trever Miller (1-3) _ hit his second pinch-hit homer of the season, and Taveras' shot off Tony Pena (3-1) was his first home run in 739 at-bats.

Lidge was pulled with the bases loaded and two outs. Dan Wheeler walked Jeff DaVanon to force in a run then struck out pinch-hitter Carlos Quentin for his third save.

Nationals 6, Padres 2

Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer and Alfonso Soriano had an RBI double and threw out a runner at the plate for his major league-leading 17th outfield assist to lead visiting Washington.

The last-place Nationals, who have won three of four, also got a solo homer from Felipe Lopez.

Chris Young (9-5) allowed five runs and seven hits for the Padres, who left 10 men on base and lost for the 10th time in 16 games.

Rockies 5, Giants 2

Yorvit Torrealba hit a three-run homer against his former team to lead visiting San Diego, while San Francisco's Barry Bonds hit his 723rd career home run and was ejected in the ninth inning.

Bonds hit a solo shot to center off Jeff Francis (9-9) in the seventh for his first home run since July 20, a span of 26 at-bats. In the ninth, he began arguing with plate umpire Ron Kulpa about a called second strike. Kulpa immediately ejected Bonds, who got in the umpire's face and began yelling.

Bonds returned to the dugout and fans responded by throwing garbage, including beer bottles, onto the field from all directions. The Rockies left the field to avoid being hit while fans chanted ``Barry! Barry!'' Security came onto the field and so did a large cleanup crew, causing an 11-minute delay.

Matt Morris (8-9) had his four-game winning streak against the Rockies end.
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