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Posted at 07:17 AM ET, 05/07/2011

Leading off: Yankees send resurgent Bartolo Colon to the mound against Rangers

Game of the day: New York Yankees at Texas, 8:05 p.m. Yankees veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon has been surprisingly effective this season, and the rotund right-hander will start Saturday night against the Rangers. Colon (2-1) has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his three starts this season after he did not pitch in the major leagues in 2010. Young left-hander Derek Holland is the scheduled starter for Texas, and Holland (3-1) has allowed opponents to hit .299 against him this season. He’s allowed seven or more hits in five of his six starts, a good sign for a Yankees team that has averaged more than eight hits per game this season heading into Friday.

Other games to watch:

Detroit at Toronto, 4:07 p.m. Both teams will have their opening day starters on the mound Saturday, as Justin Verlander is scheduled to pitch for the Tigers and Ricky Romero is the scheduled starter for the Blue Jays. Verlander (2-3) has allowed either two or three earned runs in each of his seven starts this season, but his bullpen and the Tigers’ lineup hasn’t backed him up. Detroit is just 2-5 in games Verlander started this year. Romero is dealing with a mild oblique strain, and it is still not 100 percent sure if he will be able to make this start. Romero (2-3) has pitched well in his last two starts, allowing a combined four earned runs in 13 innings and striking out 17.

Cleveland at Los Angeles Angels, 9:05 p.m. In this matchup of division leaders, the best team in the American League will face perhaps the best pitcher in the American League. Cleveland owns the league’s best record, but Angels starter Jered Weaver sports a 6-1 record and a 1.39 ERA. Weaver did lose his last start against Boston on Monday, allowing more than two earned runs in a start for the first time all season.Rookie Alex White (0-0) will start for Cleveland, coming off a major-league debut in which he allowed two runs in 6.0 innings against Detroit.

Games you should have seen:

Washington 3, Florida 2, 10 innings. Adam LaRoche hit a tie-breaking sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Nationals past the Marlins. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Washington and handed the Marlins their third loss in four games. Jerry Hairston, Jr. went 3 for 3 for the Nationals, and reliever Drew Storen earned his second win of the season.

Atlanta 5, Philadelphia 0. Phillies starter Cliff Lee struck out a career-high 16 Braves, but he was outdueled by Atlanta starter Derek Lowe in the Braves’ win. Lowe allowed just two hits over six scoreless innings, while three Braves relievers did not allow a hit over the final three frames. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez went 3 for 5 for the Braves, who have now won six consecutive games to move to within 3.5 games of the first-place Phillies.

Stat you should know: 30. Consecutive games in which Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has collected at least one hit after he went 3 for 5 on Friday night in the Dodgers’ 6-3 loss against the Mets. Ethier’s is the first hit streak to reach 30 games since Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit in 30 straight games before his streak ended in 2009.

Star of the night: St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia took a perfect game into the eighth inning and finished with a two-hit shutout in the Cardinals’ 6-0 win over the Brewers. Garcia improved to 4-0 on the season, and lowered his ERA to 1.99.

By Greg Schimmel  |  07:17 AM ET, 05/07/2011

 
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