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TORONTO — Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.They need the win to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Blue Jays Rollie Fingers Jersey , who are dawdling in fourth place in the American League East.More important, they must reverse a recent trend that threatens their playoff hopes.Article continues below ...They let a 5-0 lead get away Saturday afternoon and lost 8-6 to the Blue Jays on a three-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning by Aledmys Diaz.The Phillies, who entered Saturday three games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East, have lost six of their past seven games.“We’re still in a good position to strike,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.The Blue Jays have won five in a row for the first time this season and hold a 4-1 lead in the season series against the Phillies.The Phillies (69-60) will start right-hander Vince Velasquez (8-9, 4.06 ERA) Sunday and the Blue Jays (60-69) will counter with right-hander Marco Estrada (7-9, 4.88).Velasquez has never faced the Blue Jays in the regular season, although he has pitched against them in spring training.Estrada has not pitched against the Phillies in the regular season this year, but in 11 career games (five starts) against them he is 2-1 with a 5.45 ERA.The Phillies have struggled on the road this season, going 28-48 (41-21 at home) and 5-14 in their past 19 games.“I think we maintain the same poise that we have in rough stretches all season,” Kapler said. “I think we’ve had stretches similar to this one. This one has been undoubtedly difficult. but we want to remind our guys how tough we are and how resilient we are, how teams have rough stretches and this by no means does this mean we don’t have the ability to win the National League East.“I think one of the things that we can focus on is the reason this one may be a little bit more challenging is because it takes more energy to be resilient when you’re closer to the end. So it just means that we’re going to need to dig real deep and get that last drop of energy. I believe we have it in us.”While Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was 0-for-3 with a walk Saturday to end his hitting streak at 12 games, the home run streak of Kendrys Morales is alive. He has hit home runs in six consecutive games (for a total of seven) that matches the club record set in 2001 by Jose Cruz Jr.The streak by Morales equals the longest in the majors this season set by Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals on July 14-21.Morales also has a nine-game hitting streak. His batting is .516 (16-for-31) with seven homers and 13 RBIs.“He’s been on a nice little roll now for a while, a good while,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “Early in the year, he was chasing a lot of breaking balls, off-speed pitches down in the dirt http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-terry-steinbach-jersey , down in the zone — that’s what was getting him into trouble. He’s laying off those now and he’s even hitting breaking balls.”Outfielder Billy McKinney hit a two-run homer Saturday and has three homers in his first seven games from the Blue Jays after being called up from Triple-A Buffalo. He was part of the deal that sent left-hander J.A. Happ to the New York Yankees on July 26.McKinney is the first player to combine three homers and nine RBIs in his first seven games with the Blue Jays. Seven others have hit three or more homers in their first seven games with Toronto and Dave Martinez had nine RBIs in his first seven games with the Blue Jays in 2000. MILWAUKEE (AP) — When Brewers slugger Christian Yelich takes the field against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he’ll have one group of Milwaukee fans rooting especially loud for his success: Serbian-Americans.The 26-year-old MVP candidate’s banner year has earned him plenty of new fans, including Serbians who are just now becoming aware of his heritage. Yelich’s paternal grandfather was Serbian.“Everybody is seriously super-stoked and really happy,” said Sinisa Torbica, 50, whose parents immigrated to Milwaukee from Serbia in the 1960s.Torbica, who makes a living as a translator, said he long thought Yelich might be of Serbian descent but wasn’t sure because the Americanized spelling differs from the more usual Jelic surname. Torbica said it was “fricking awesome” when a friend told him about Yelich’s ancestry last year. His own friends, he said, feel the same.“They’re just kind of like awestruck,” Torbica said. “They’re like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe it. He’s Serbian, are you kidding me? MVP?’ It’s unbelievable.”Yelich said he has never visited Serbia or fully researched his heritage, but he feels “pride in it.”“Any time you can have an impact on anybody’s life in a positive direction, to bring happiness to the community or a certain group of people, you don’t take that lightly as a team Dave Henderson Jersey , as a player,” he said.The Brewers acquired Yelich from the Miami Marlins in a trade this past offseason and he went on to win the National League batting title with a .326 average. He hit 36 home runs and had 110 RBIs, just missing the Triple Crown — a rare feat last accomplished by Miguel Cabrera for Detroit in 2012.Now, Yelich is a frequent topic of conversation among Milwaukee’s small, tight-knit Serbian community that likes cheering for athletes who have a connection to home, said Steve Petrovic, the president of the American Serb Hall on the city’s southwest side. Petrovic said it’s the same adulation Serbians feel for athletes like tennis superstar Novak Djokovic and retired NBA player Vlade Divac.“When you’re within the Serbian community, that kind of stuff is talked about — ‘Did you see Yelich had three hits the other night?'” Petrovic said. “That is very commonplace.”Serbians’ migration to Milwaukee began in the late 1800s, driven by poverty and overpopulation in Eastern Europe, said John Gurda, a Milwaukee historian and author.They settled in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, near the city’s south side, and largely worked industrial jobs, Gurda said. Another wave of Serbian immigrants began arriving in Milwaukee in the 1980s during the wars in Sarajevo and the Bosnian conflict.The St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, the St. Sava Orthodox School and Serb Hall have become important gathering places for Serbians, who number about 4,000 in the area http://www.athleticsfanproshop.com/authentic-dennis-eckersley-jersey , according to census data.“I can guarantee you that if you go out to Serb Hall or the school, they know (about Yelich) and they’re proud,” Gurda said.That pride is part of Serbians’ nationalistic streak and their “special draw” toward cheering on their own when they succeed, said Mike Uzelac, 63, former president of Serb Hall.“We try to support each other, and root for each other whether it’s basketball, football, acting, whatever,” he said.Now that more Serbians are learning about Yelich’s heritage, they want to make sure that others know it, too.“Now I’m going to be bringing it up to all my friends,” said Ilija Stojsavljevic, 47, an engineer from the Milwaukee suburb of Cudahy. “I will be bringing that up whenever possible.”
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