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PHOENIX -- Jimmy Rollins homered and had three RBIs, Cole Hamels pitched seven solid innings and the Philadelphia Phillies avoided a three-game sweep with an 8-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard each homered, Placido Polanco had four of Philadelphia’s 12 hits and scored three runs, and Ben Francisco had a two-run double.
That was more than enough for Hamels (3-1) in his fourth straight solid start.
The Diamondbacks beat Cliff Lee in the opener, then roughed up Roy Oswalt for a chance at their first sweep over Philadelphia since 2007.
The Phillies never gave them much of a chance, though, pounding Arizona starter Joe Saunders (0-3) to reach 16 wins in April, one short of the franchise record set in 1993.
Chris Young hit a pair of homers to drive in three runs for Arizona, a two-run shot in the sixth inning off Hamels and a solo home run off Antonio Bastardo in the eighth that cut Philadelphia’s lead to 7-4.
Howard pushed the lead back to four with a towering leadoff homer in the ninth to center field off J.J. Putz.
Philadelphia came into the series on a five-game winning streak and looked to extend it with Lee and Oswalt lined up to face the struggling Diamondbacks.
Lee was decent but got no run support and Oswalt was off from the start in his shortest outing of the season, leaving it up to Hamels to avoid the sweep.
The left-hander had won two of his previous three starts, including a shutout against San Diego on Friday. He wasn’t quite as dominant against the Diamondbacks, though good enough.
Hamels gave up an RBI double to Melvin Mora after a leadoff walk in the second inning, then retired the next 10 batters before pinch hitter Juan Miranda led off the sixth with a triple. Young hit the next pitch out to left for a two-run homer, cutting Philadelphia’s lead to 6-3.
Hamels came back out to finish off the seventh after allowing three runs on four hits.
The Diamondbacks won the series’ first two games behind solid outings from Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson, and were hoping for another from Saunders, who allowed a run on two hits in six innings of a no-decision against the Mets on Friday.
They didn’t get it.
Hit hard almost from his first pitch, Saunders gave up three straight hits to open the game and three runs in the inning, on a run-scoring double by Rollins and Francisco’s two-run groundrule double.
Victorino hit a two-out solo homer in the second and Rollins lifted his first homer to left off Saunders in the fifth, a two-run shot that put the Phillies up 6-1.
Saunders lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits.
NOTES: Phillies C Carlos Ruiz left with lower back tightness after flying out in the first inning and was replaced by Brian Schneider. … Arizona LF Ryan Roberts was 0-for-4, ending his streak at 13 games of reaching base safely. … Philadelphia is 9-0 in day games and has won all eight of its series finales in 2011.
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