Utley extends hit streak to 29 games in Phillies' win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With trade rumors swirling around the Philadelphia Phillies, a trio of players showed why they won't be going anywhere.

Ryan Howard hit his NL-leading 34th homer, Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 29 games and Cole Hamels pitched 7 1/3 solid innings to lead Philadelphia over the Florida Marlins 12-3 on Saturday night.

Utley singled, homered and drove in three runs, and Pat Burrell and Aaron Rowand also connected, helping the Phillies send Dontrelle Willis to his earliest exit in 2 years. Utley's hitting streak is the longest in the major leagues this season.

The underachieving Phillies (47-54) have won three of four but are 6 games behind Cincinnati in the NL wild-card race and are actively seeking to deal some of their higher-priced veterans before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline.

Howard, Utley and Hamels are untouchables, while nearly everyone else could be available.

"No trades tonight," manager Charlie Manuel said.

That could change by Monday.

Hamels (3-5) allowed three runs and five hits, striking out seven in the longest start in his brief career. The rookie left-hander left after Joe Borchard hit a hard one-hopper off his left leg in the eighth inning. Hamels has a bruise below his knee, but X-rays were negative.

"I'll be fine," Hamels said.

Willis (6-8) gave up eight runs -- six earned -- and five hits in 2 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since lasting one inning against San Francisco on April 30, 2004.

"I was just bad," Willis said. "I didn't do the job."

The left-hander won his first three career starts against the Phillies but has lost four straight, posting a 9.26 ERA in that span.

Willis unraveled in the third inning, allowing seven runs after making a throwing error on what might have been an inning-ending, double-play bouncer to the mound by Rowand.

Willis walked Danny Sandoval to start the inning. Hamels forced Sandoval out at second on a bunt. Shane Victorino was hit by a pitch and Rowand hit one back to Willis, who made a wild throw to second base. Hamels came around to score the go-ahead run, Rowand reached second and Victorino went to third.

Utley followed with a soft liner up the middle to drive in two runs and keep his streak going. After Burrell walked, Howard lined a three-run shot over the right-center field wall to put the Phillies ahead 7-1.

"I don't think that was him out there," Howard said of Willis.

Chris Coste walked and Abraham Nunez and Sandoval hit consecutive singles to chase Willis. Hamels' sacrifice fly to center field made it 8-1.

Utley hit his 20th homer in the fourth inning off Jason Vargas. The All-Star second baseman is hitting .403 (50-for-124) during his streak. A fan favorite in tough-minded Philly, Utley was even cheered after striking out in the sixth.

"He's a great young hitter," Marlins manager Joe Girardi said.

Burrell, among those mentioned in trade rumors, hit his 21st homer on Willis' first pitch of the second inning to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Burrell appeared to break his bat on the swing, but still drove the ball into the flower bed just over the left-field wall.

The Marlins tied it at 1 on a sacrifice fly to second base by Dan Uggla in the third inning. With runners at first and third, Uggla lofted a shallow fly to right field. Utley caught it backtracking and couldn't make a throw to the plate as Miguel Olivo scored easily.

Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning for Florida.

Since starting 11-31, the Marlins have the best record in the NL at 37-23.

Hamels struck out 12 in the first five innings in his previous start against Atlanta but couldn't get past the sixth. He gave up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Game notes
The seven-run third inning was Philadelphia's biggest this season. ... Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins was out of the lineup for the third straight game with a strained right hamstring. ... Sandoval's single in the third was his first major league hit. Hamels' RBI in that inning was his first. ... Willis, who was 22-10 last season, hasn't won since July 7.