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Baseball: Howard's 3 Homers Lead Phillies Past Braves

Baseball slugger Ryan Howard hit home runs in his first three at-bats Sunday, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to an 8-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves in the first game of a doubleheader.

Howard leads the major leagues with 52 homers.

The Braves came back to beat the Phillies in the second game, 3-1.

In another National League contest, St. Louis star Albert Pujols matched Howard by hitting homers in his first three at bats in the Cardinals' 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Elsewhere in the National League, the Houston Astros edged the New York Mets, 2-1. The Florida Marlins thumped the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-3. The Washington Nationals scored four runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3. The San Francisco Giants got by the Chicago Cubs, 7-4. The San Diego Padres eked out a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. And, the Colorado Rockies scored six runs in the fifth inning on the way to beating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 12-5.

In the American League, Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs in the New York Yankees' 10-1 crushing of the Minnesota Twins. The Toronto Blue Jays downed the Boston Red Sox, 6-1. The Kansas City Royals tripped up the Chicago White Sox, 7-3. Oakland scored nine runs in the first inning, led by Dan Johnson's grand slam, giving the Athletics a 10-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. The Texas Rangers snapped the Cleveland Indians' five-game winning streak in a 5-2 decision. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays edged the Seattle Mariners, 7-6. And, the Los Angeles Angels got by the Detroit Tigers, 2-1.

Some information for this report provided by AP.