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Baseball: Soriano Hits Another Home Run as Nationals Edge Giants


Washington's Alfonso Soriano hit his 32nd home run of the season Thursday to help the Nationals beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in major league baseball action.

Soriano's homer came in his first at-bat of the game, giving him six leadoff home runs this season. The Washington outfielder has been the subject of intense trade speculation as Monday's mid-season trade deadline approaches.

The Nationals have won six consecutive games, while San Francisco has lost four straight.

Thursday's other National League winners include Philadelphia, Florida, Cincinnati, the Chicago Cubs and Colorado. Baltimore and Oakland were the winners in a limited American League schedule.

The Philadelphia Phillies downed the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2. Philadelphia's Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 27 games, the longest in the major leagues this season. The Florida Marlins defeated the Atlanta Braves 2-1.

Cincinnati starting pitcher Elizardo Ramirez struck out seven straight batters to lead the Reds to an 8-4 win over the Houston Astros. The Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4, and the Colorado Rockies downed the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 10 innings.

In the American League, the Oakland Athletics defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals 6-4. Baltimore's Fernando Tatis had two hits and drove in two runs in his first major league start since 2003. He was released by Tampa Bay before the 2004 season started, and did not play professional baseball the past two seasons.

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