Ryan Howard's homer, Cole Hamels pace Phils to 3rd win in row

PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels worked with almost a dozen starts' worth of runs in one game.

Ryan Howard homered and had six RBIs and the Philadelphia Phillies backed Hamels with a rare burst of the run support he had been missing most of the season in a 10-6 win over the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night.

Howard hit his 28th homer of the season and the NL East-leading Phillies had a season-high 18 hits.

Hamels (10-10) tossed four-hit ball over seven innings and extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 25. He struck out five and won his third straight start.

His record would be well over .500 if not for receiving the fourth-lowest run support (3.18 runs per start) of any starter this season entering the game.

Ten runs or one, Hamels' approach never wavered.

"I want to go out there and get one guy out my next game," Hamels said.

Hamels was sensational and earned a standing ovation when he struck out Brad Davis to end the seventh. Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, might have 15 wins by now if the Phillies had some pop in their bats in his starts.

The Phillies were shut out in four of his starts -- including consecutive 1-0 losses in early August. The Phillies entered having scored only 19 runs in Hamels' last 11 starts. They scored two or fewer runs in 13 of his first 28 starts.

They tried to make it up to him from the start Wednesday, scoring runs in each of the first five innings and staked him to a 10-0 lead.

Put in perspective, the Phillies scored 10 runs combined in Hamels' last six starts.

"Everything was working for him tonight," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said.

Hamels never really groused about his lack of support and kept giving the Phillies the kind of quality starts that has them convinced they can make another deep October run. The Phillies remained a half-game ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East as they make a run toward their fourth straight division title.

"People forget about what's happened the first five months if you have a great September and a great playoffs," Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino said.

Howard did the bulk of the damage against Andrew Miller (1-1). He had a two-run single in the first inning and went deep with an opposite-field, three-run shot to left in the fourth that made it 7-0.

Miller was long gone when Howard's line-drive single to right in the seventh put the Phillies ahead 10-0. Howard was batting .188 in 16 games since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 21.

Howard is a career .306 hitter in September and plays his best ball when the games matter most.

"September just happens to be September," Howard said. "I just try and do what I can to do my part."

He did plenty in Philadelphia's third straight win.

The Phillies don't know if they will have to move on without shortstop Jimmy Rollins. He is day-to-day after leaving with tightness in his right hamstring.

Manager Charlie Manuel said Rollins was dehydrated and skipped batting practice.

Rollins -- who has slumped so badly this season he was dropped from leadoff to sixth in the batting order -- gingerly ran to second base and didn't slide on a two-out double in the third. He didn't have his usual burst around third base when he scored on Carlos Ruiz's single.

Rollins slid at home and slowly walked back to the dugout. He had his head down as he talked with Manuel. Rollins was 2-for-2 and was replaced by Wilson Valdez.

The three-time All-Star shortstop has twice been on the 15-day disabled list this season because of a calf problem. He got hurt warming up before the Phillies' home opener and missed 31 games before re-injuring himself less than a week later on May 21.

Gaby Sanchez hit a three-run homer for the Marlins as part of a six-run eighth off Nate Robertson.

Chase Utley had two RBIs for the Phillies.

Game notes
Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez was held out of the starting lineup with a sore back. ... Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson has right shoulder inflammation and a strained mid-back, making it unclear when the All-Star will return to the mound. There was no structural damage found and he will rejoin the Marlins on Friday for a series in Washington, but the team has not decided when he might pitch again. ... Phillies closer Brad Lidge was unavailable because of a tender right elbow. Pitching coach Rich Dubee says he's "very confident" Lidge will be ready by Friday. ... Phillies rookie outfielder Domonic Brown is day to day with a strained right quadriceps.