Howard Hammers Braves' Hopes

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ATLANTA (AP) - Ryan Howard led off the ninth inning with a homer
and the Philadelphia Phillies won their fourth straight game,
beating the Atlanta Braves 3-2 Friday night in the opener of an
important NL East series.

Chase Hutley hit a two-run shot for the Phillies and Shane
Victorino put on a dazzling defensive show in center field, chasing
down one long drive after another to keep the Braves from extending
their winning streak to a season-best six games.

Howard won it with his 28th homer of the season, driving a 2-1
pitch off struggling Rafael Soriano (1-4) into the center-field
seats to break a 2-all tie. Philadelphia extended its lead over
Atlanta in the NL East to six games.