Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mariners down Angels, 2-0; Phillies Close in on Mets

American League LA Angels 0 Seattle 2 - Miguel Batista (11-7) bested Angels' ace Kelvim Escobar (11-5), blanking the Halos on 3 hits over 7 innings. Ichiro Suzuki (right) had two singles and a triple in 4 at-bats, scored once and drove in another run, advancing the Mariners to within 3 games of the first-place Angels. Suzuki's effort was his 51st multiple-hit game of the season, and boosted his batting average to .347, good for second in the AL, behind the Tigers' Magglio Ordonez at .351. The Angels and Mariners are in the midst of a crucial 3-game series, with games 2 and 3 on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Mariners are 1 1/2 games behind Cleveland in the wild card chase and have won 4 straight. Detroit 5 Oakland 2 - Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco each collected three hits as the Tigers upped their slim lead in the AL Central to 1 full game over idle Cleveland. The Tigers topped the sliding A's, who have lost 4 straight and are 5-13 since the All-Star break. Other AL Scores Kansas City 1 Minnesota 3 Toronto 4 Tampa Bay 5, 11 innings National League Philadelphia 4 Chi Cubs 1 - Cole Hamels (right) improved to 12-5, allowing just three hits over 8 innings. The Cubs got their only run on Ryan Theriot's 6th inning solo homer. Hamels struck out 8, giving him 143 on the season, one behind NL leader Jake Peavy. Aaron Rowand cracked a 3-run homer off loser Ted Lilly in the 3rd inning and Tadahito Iguchi hit his first homer as a Philly - a solo shot in the 5th. This was the first of a pivotal four-game set between the Cubs and Phillies, each team in second place in their respective division. The Cubs trail Milwaukee by only 1 game, while the Phillies are 3 behind the East-leading Mets.

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