Game of the Day: Philadelphia at Milwaukee, 8:10 p.m. The Phillies and Brewers have emerged as the two best teams in the National League this season, and they will play for the first time since April in a possible NL Championship Series preview. The teams last met in the postseason in 2008, when the Phillies won a division series three games to one en route to their World Series title. Left-hander Cole Hamels (13-7) will pitch the series opener for Philadelphia, looking for his first win in his fourth start since August 6. Hamels is 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA in eight career starts against Milwaukee. Left-hander Chris Narveson (10-6) will pitch for Milwaukee; the Brewers have won his last six starts.
Other game to watch: San Diego at Arizona, 9:40 p.m. Diamondbacks left-hander Ian Kennedy has pitched his way into the NL Cy Award conversation, and chances are he’ll toss another gem on Thursday against the major leagues’ third-worst offense. San Diego is just 2-11 in its last 13 games, and has averaged fewer than 2.4 runs per game during that span. Left-hander Cory Luebke (5-8) will pitch for San Diego, sporting a career 6.57 ERA against Arizona.
Games you should have seen:
Toronto 11, Boston 10. The Blue Jays scored five runs in the eighth inning to spoil Boston starter Tim Wakefield’s eighth attempt to pick up his 200th career win. Trailing 8-6 through seven innings, Toronto tied the game on consecutive bases-loaded walks, then took an 11-8 lead on a three-run double by Edwin Encarnacion. The Red Sox scored two runs in the ninth on a solo home run by Adrian Gonzalez and an RBI single by Marco Scutaro, but the game ended when pinch-runner Mike Aviles was thrown out stealing second base.
Philadelphia 3, Atlanta 2 . Ross Gload hit a walk-off, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Phillies completed an impressive three-game sweep of the Braves. Atlanta had led 2-1 in the eighth when Placido Polanco tied the game with a two-out single to right. Gload’s knock the right field line was just his third hit since late July. The win puts Philadelphia a season-high 10 ½ games ahead in the NL East.
Stat you should know: 1. Team that has not been swept in a series of three games or more this season after the Phillies completed their sweep of the Braves on Wednesday to knock Atlanta from that list. Only Philadelphia has not been swept in a three or four-game series this season.
Star of the night: Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter pitched a four-hit shutout Wednesday in St. Louis’s 2-0 win over the Brewers. Carpenter struck out five and walked two, needing only 97 pitches to finish the game. The win puts St. Louis 6 ½ games behind Atlanta in the NL wild-card race heading into a three-game series this weekend against the Braves.
Chatter: “I kind of face-planted dead square. Luckily, I was able to make a play and keep the early momentum because those guys take advantage.” – Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin, who crashed into the wall while making a running catch in the first inning of San Diego’s 3-1 win over the Giants.