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Ryan Howard homered twice and Jimmy Rollins also connected to back another strong outing by Cole Hamels, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Boston Red Sox 8-2 Monday night in an interleague matchup of division leaders.
Hamels (7-4) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven-plus innings. Since consecutive poor outings last month, the left-hander has a 1.50 ERA in his last three starts.
Dustin Pedroia and J.D. Drew hit consecutive homers for Boston.
Red Sox starter Bartolo Colon (4-2) gave up four runs and six hits in four innings before leaving with back stiffness.
Howard had his second multihomer game in four nights and finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Howard, who has struggled most of the season, now is tied for second in the NL with 19 homers and he's in a three-way tie with teammate Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez for first in RBIs with 62. The 2006 NL MVP is batting just .224.
The Phillies teed off against Colon in the first inning. Rollins hit his 28th career leadoff homer into the second deck in right field for a 1-0 lead. Shane Victorino followed with a double off the wall in right-center.
After Utley struck out, Howard lined an opposite-field shot into the left-field seats to make it 3-0.
Howard hit another opposite-field drive to left-center for a 4-0 lead in the third.
Pedroia and Drew went deep in the fifth to cut the deficit to 4-2. But the Phillies scored four runs off reliever Mike Timlin in the sixth to increase their cushion.
Rollins had a two-run single and scored on Utley's fielder's choice grounder. Howard ripped a triple to right-center off Jacoby Ellsbury's glove to make it 8-2.
This program aired on June 17, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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