4 - 1 Final
  for this game

Hamels shuts down Cubs as red-hot Phillies roll

Jul 31, 2007 - 3:46 AM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Cole Hamels cruised through eight innings and a pair of former Chicago White Sox players provided the offense as the Philadelphia Phillies posted a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Hamels (12-5) yielded only three hits and two walks while striking out eight. The only blemish in his line was a solo home run by Ryan Theriot to lead off the sixth inning.

"I am pitching with confidence right now," Hamels said. "I know our lineup will hit and that makes my job easier."

Aaron Rowand hit a three-run homer to center off Cubs starter Ted Lilly (11-5) in the third to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead.

"I know all the White Sox fans are happy because I heard a few of them out there," Rowand said. "It's my first home run at Wrigley. I had a few line shots off the wall, so it's nice to finally get one out."

Tadahito Iguchi drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a double by Ryan Howard with two outs before Rowand belted his 15th homer of the season.

Rowand spent five seasons with the White Sox before coming to Philadelphia for the 2006 season. Iguchi also left the White Sox for Philadelphia, coming over in a trade on Friday.

"If Iguchi had to be traded I am glad it was here," Rowand said. "At least I am here to help him with the transition, we had a good relationship in Chicago. I have talked with him a lot since he got here, the guys in this locker room will find out he is a good teammate."

Replacing the injured Chase Utley at second base, Iguchi hit his first home run as a Phillie in the fifth, depositing an 0-1 pitch from Lilly into the seats in left field.

"Iguchi has played well for us since he's got here," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "That was big home run tonight, and he is getting on base for us too. He has added to our offense."

With the win, their ninth in 10 games, the Phillies (56-49) pulled within three games of the National League East Division-leading New York Mets.

"We have guys that are just stepping up," Rowand said. "We have had to fight through injuries all season, this team just keeps playing hard and finding a way to win."

The Cubs were looking to move into a tie for first with the Milwaukee Brewers for first in the NL Central but came up short in their quest to own a share of the division lead for the first time since April 12, 2006.

"Hamels threw the ball well," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We did nothing offensively against him except for Theriot's home run, Hamels was really good."

Lilly, who was 7-0 in his last eight outings, allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. the lefthander walked three and recorded three strikeouts.

"The home runs didn't beat me," Lilly said. "I fell behind on the hitters right before both of the home runs, and on Iguchi and Rowand I just tried to get ahead and left the ball out over the plate."

Brett Myers struck out one in a perfect ninth for his seventh save and first since May 20th against Toronto.