Phillies 7, Marlins 2: Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown hit solo homers to back Kyle Kendrick Thursday night. Kendrick (3-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to earn his ninth straight win against the Marlins, dating to May 28, 2010.
Kendrick had his fifth consecutive solid start. He's outpitched Philadelphia's three aces — Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee so far. While they have three Cy Young Awards, a World Series MVP Award and 14 All-Star appearances on their résumés, Kendrick has never won more than 11 games in a season.
But Kendrick has a 2.43 ERA this season and the Phillies are 4-2 in his starts. Hamels, Halladay and Lee are a combined 5-8 with a 4.85 ERA, and the Phillies are 5-13 in their starts.
Kendrick is quite a bargain. He's making $4.5 million this year. Hamels, Halladay and Lee will earn a total of $64.5 million.
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Ryan Dempster won his second straight start as Boston took advantage of a season-high 10 walks.Dempster (2-2) allowed one run and four hits in six innings. The right-hander, who walked three and struck out four, retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.
Winless in his first four starts this season, Dempster posted his first victory by beating Houston a week ago. Boston improved its major league-best road record to 9-3 and won its seventh series in nine tries this season.
Nationals 3, Braves 1: Dan Haren pitched eight sharp innings and Denard Span hit a two-run double. The Nationals allowed their NL East rivals to get only three runners in scoring position over two nights. Haren (3-3) won his second consecutive start, giving up four hits and one run with one walk and four strikeouts. Rafael Soriano earned his ninth save in 10 chances by pitching the ninth. Washington outfielder left the game in the fifth inning with an apparent leg injury.
Padres 4, Cubs 2: Yonder Alonso's two-out fly ball to right field dropped in front of Julio Borbon for an RBI single that led to a four-run eighth inning and boosted visiting San Diego past Chicago for a split of their four-game series.
Travis Wood (2-2) retired his first 14 batters before Kyle Blanks singled, and he led 2-0 going into the eighth.
White Sox 3, Rangers 1: Catcher Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and Hector Santiago filled in for injured starting pitcher Jake Peavy with five strong innings. Santiago got his first win of the season, allowing only one run on five hits while striking out six.
Peavy was scratched earlier in the day because of back spasms. He said his back locked up on him when he was reaching for his glove after stretching exercises before Wednesday's game.
Steroid study: American adults rank steroid use among adolescents as less of a problem than alcohol, bullying, marijuana and sexually transmitted diseases, according to a study released Thursday that was co-commissioned by baseball's Hall of Fame. Those polled also ranked cocaine, obesity and eating disorders as bigger problems. While 97 percent of the respondents believe steroids cause negative health effects, just 19 percent think steroid use is a big problem among high-school students.
Red Sox: Manager John Farrell is upset by accusations that pitcher Clay Buchholz was putting a foreign substance on the ball during Wednesday's victory over Toronto. Former major-league pitcher Dirk Hayhurst, now a broadcast analyst for the Blue Jays, told Toronto radio station Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Thursday that Buchholz was "absolutely" cheating in Wednesday's start.
An article on the Sportsnet website included photographs of Buchholz, including one showing him wiping his first two fingers across his forearm, which appeared to be partially covered with a white substance.
Buchholz brushed aside the allegations, saying he puts rosin on his arm and occasionally wets his fingers to get a better grip.
Buchholz (6-0) leads the majors in wins and the AL in ERA (1.01).
Yankees: Joba Chamberlain is joining the team's crowded disabled list. The reliever has a strained oblique on his right side and will be put on the DL retroactive to April 28. He'll become the 10th player on New York's disabled list, including such notables as Derek Jeter (broken ankle), Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery), Mark Teixeira (torn tendon sheath in wrist), outfielder Curtis Granderson (broken forearm) and Kevin Youkilis (sprained back).
Blue Jays: Pitcher Josh Johnson was put on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his right triceps and lefty Ricky Romero will make his season debut this weekend.