The Full Count: Philadelphia likes to hit the ball, a lot


1. Bring on the Hit Parade: Baseball can be a strange sport sometimes. Going into to Tuesday’s game against the Phillies, the Dodgers had a five-game winning streak going and the best record in the NL. But Philadelphia made them look like a Triple-A team with a 15-3 blowout win. The Phils recorded 26 hits, including five each by Shane Victorino and Aaron Rowand. Ryan Howard hit to homeruns to give him 24 on the year. Chase Utley had three RBIs to increase his league-leading total to 79. Even Phillies starter JD Durbin, who gave up one run in six innings, added three hits. Dodgers starter Mark Hendrickson was crushed for 11 hits and 7 runs in three innings, and reliever Eric Stults gave up eight hits and four runs. The Phillies now have 499 runs on the year, ranking them first in the National League and third overall in the majors.

2. The Yankees Get Closer: The Yankees are now closer to the division-leading Boston Red Sox than they’ve been in a while. With a comeback 3-2 win over Toronto combined with Boston’s loss to the Royals, the Yanks are now eight games back in the division. That’s still a lot, but for a while the lead has been double-digits. Blue Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo issued a balk in the ninth inning that tied the game, which the Yankees won in the tenth inning off a Robinson Cano RBI single. Alex Rodriguez notched his 90th RBI of the year as New York won their fourth game in a row. In Boston, the Royals teed off on Tim Wakefield for six runs in their 9-3 win. The Yankees’ upcoming schedule has been noted for its lack of winning teams, though the Red Sox don’t exactly have a murderer’s row either. They face the Devil Rays and Orioles a combined five times over the next month, so if they take care of business, it will be hard for the Yankees to catch up.

3. The Collapse Continues: The biggest losing streak in baseball right now belongs to the A’s, who have dropped nine games in a row. They are now 12 games back in the division and barely ahead of the lowly Rangers, who beat Oakland again on Tuesday. Texas’ 11-4 win was fueled by a 5-5 performance by Michael Young in addition to multiple errors by the A’s. Oakland starter Chad Gaudin, who used to be among the AL leaders in ERA, was rocked for his second straight start. This is the longest losing streak for the A’s since 1998, according to ESPN.com. They are virtually eliminated from playoff contention already.

Player of the Day: Aaron Rowand, Phillies: 5-6, 3 doubles, HR (13), 2 RBIs in a win over the Dodgers.

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