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Posted at 07:15 AM ET, 06/10/2011

Leading off: National League Central front-runners collide as Cardinals and Brewers open three-game series.

Game of the Day: St. Louis at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m. The Cardinals and the Brewers enter this three-game series in Milwaukee separated by just 2 1/2 games atop the National League Central. First-place St. Louis is 16-7 since May 15, while second-place Milwaukee is 21-8 since May 8. Right-hander Kyle Lohse (7-2) has won his last three decisions for St. Louis, but he took a loss back on May 7 in his most recent outing against the Brewers. Left-hander Chris Narveson (2-4) is the scheduled starter for Milwaukee, looking for his first win since May 14.

Other game to watch: Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m. This game pits one of the best teams in the National League against one of the worst, but it will feature a premier pitching matchup. Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano (5-2) has allowed just one earned run in each of his last three starts, and his ERA (3.98) is less than 4 entering a start for the first time since opening day. Defending Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay will start for Philadelphia. Halladay is in the top five in the National League in each of the Triple Crown pitching categories.

Games you should have seen:

Chicago Cubs 4, Philadelphia 3, 11 innings. In a game interrupted by a one hour, 17 minute rain delay in the third inning, Chicago came from behind to stun the Phillies. Philadelphia took a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth before Geovany Soto homered to tie the game at 3. Tyler Colvin, the next hitter, appeared to put the Cubs ahead, but a fan interference call turned his home run into a double and forced extra innings. Colvin scored the winning run on a throwing error in the 11th.

Minnesota 5, Texas 4. Alexi Casilla hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to send the Twins to an exciting win over the Rangers. Nelson Cruz had tied the game at 4 with his 15th home run of the year for Texas in the top of the eighth. Minnesota has won seven of its last eight games, but remains 11 games out of first place in the American League Central.

Stat you should know: 7 of 9. Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has had multiple hits in seven of his last nine games after he went 3 for 5 Thursday in the Dodgers’ 9-7 loss to the Rockies. Kemp, who is hitting .329 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI, has 23 multi-hit games this season.

Star of the night: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander struck out a season-high 10 in Detroit’s 4-1 win over Seattle. Verlander allowed one run on five hits in eight innings pitched, and he has won five consecutive decisions.

Chatter: “It felt like at this point a change was necessary. It got to the point where the emphasis was on the status of the manager on a daily basis and no longer on the field. When that starts to happen, you need to shift the focus to what’s really important, which is performance. That’s how we came to this decision.” – Athletics General Manager Billy Beane on the decision to fire manager Bob Geren. In new manager Bob Melvin’s debut Thursday, Oakland lost 9-4 to the White Sox to drop its 10th straight game.

By Greg Schimmel  |  07:15 AM ET, 06/10/2011

 
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