St. Louis — The game was just a few minutes old when Chase Utley singled to extend his hitting streak to 35 games. Quite a contrast from the suspense the previous night when he needed five at-bats to keep it going.
Utley singled in the first inning to keep his run alive, then added two more hits in the Philadelphia Phillies' 8-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.
"Last night when he gets that first hit we're all jumping up and down screaming," pitcher Cole Hamels said. "Your voice kind of leaves you for a bit because you're so excited.
"Just to get it out of the way in the first at-bat, everybody is just so pumped, and then I think everybody can relax after that."
Utley, held hitless until the eighth inning Wednesday before reaching on an infield single that was initially ruled a fielder's choice, is tied with three other players for the 10th-longest streak in major-league history.
"I didn't have to wait too long tonight," manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Phillies finished a three-game sweep and sent the NL Central leaders to their seventh straight loss. The Cardinals lost a season-high eight in a row in June.
"It'd be hard to do worse than we're doing right now," manager Tony La Russa said. "We're not even getting to the ninth inning with a chance to win."
Hamels, a 22-year-old rookie, matched his career best by striking out 12 batters in seven innings.
Dodgers 3, Reds 0
Cincinnati - Greg Maddux made a memorable debut for the Dodgers, pitching six no-hit innings before leaving after a rain delay. A 46-minute rain delay finished Maddux before the bottom of the seventh. Joe Beimel relieved and Scott Hatteberg led off with a clean single.The Dodgers won their sixth in a row, one short of their season high. The Reds lost their fifth straight.
Marlins 4, Mets 1
Miami - Miguel Cabrera's three-run double broke a tie with two outs in the eighth inning, and Dontrelle Willis earned his first victory since July 7.
Diamondbacks 10-3, Cubs 2-7
Chicago - Matt Murton tied a major-league record with four doubles and drove in five runs to help Chicago beat Arizona and split a doubleheader. The Diamondbacks won the first game behind rookie Stephen Drew's four RBIs.
Pirates 3, Braves 2
Pittsburgh - Shawn Chacon limited Atlanta to one run in five innings to win his Pittsburgh debut and prevent a sweep by the Braves. Joe Randa, making a spot start, drove in two of the Pirates' three runs.
Padres 5, Astros 2
San Diego - Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and three RBIs for San Diego, which snapped a three-game losing streak.