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Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 05/18/2011

Leading off: Rockies travel to Philadelphia

Game of the day: Rockies at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. Colorado travels to Philadelphia after sweeping a two-game series from San Francsico to take a half-game lead in the NL West. Philadelphia is leading the NL East, but has been struggling offensively lately, scoring just seven runs and batting .142 during a four-game losing streak. Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard, the Phillies’ Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, have gone 0 for 23 over the losing streak. Facing Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa (5-1, 3.70) could be just what Philadelphia needs, though. He’s 0-3 with a 9.78 ERA in his career against the Phillies, with a staggering 2.38 WHIP. Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.19) starts for Philadelphia.

Other game to watch

Rays at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. Toronto looks to extend its winning streak to seven games against an AL East-leading Rays team that has lost three of four. The Blue Jays, who play 12 of their next 15 at home, has averaged seven runs per game during the streak. Jose Bautista is hitting .407 with six home runs and eight RBIs during the streak and has reached base safely in his last 22 games. Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 2.98) has won three straight starts, including his first career shutout Friday against Baltimore. Jesse Litch (4-2, 4.14) of Toronto is looking to win his third straight.

Games you should have seen

Braves 3, Astros 1: Brian McCann came off the bench in the ninth inning to tie it with a pinch-hit, two-out homer, then hit a two-run shot in the 11th to lead the Braves past the Astros. The Braves were trailing 1-0 and down to their final strike in the ninth when McCann drove a 1-2 pitch the opposite way, the ball just clearing the wall in left-center. He stayed in the game behind the plate and, two innings later, ended it with his fourth homer of the season — a towering drive down the right-field line, just inside the foul pole against Jeff Fulchino (0-2). Cory Gearrin (1-1) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the 11th, helped by a disputed call, and was rewarded with his first career win.

Twins 2, Mariners 1: Francisco Liriano allowed only three singles and a walk, outdueling 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez. Liriano, who no-hit the White Sox on May 3, struck out nine. Hernandez allowed only three hits in eight innings, striking out nine as well.

Chatter

“When I learned the news about Harmon today, I felt like I lost a family member.” Joe Mauer, Twins all-star catcher, on Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who died Tuesday at 74

By Christopher Rukan  |  11:55 AM ET, 05/18/2011

 
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