Phillies looking at Matt Stairs or Mike Sweeney as assistant hitting coach

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Philadelphia fired multiple coaches immediately after the final game ended and the Phillies are doing some interesting things while piecing together the new staff.

Not only will manager Charlie Manuel go without a bench coach next season, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies will hire an assistant hitting coach and “have targeted” Matt Stairs and Mike Sweeney for the job.

According to Salisbury their goal is to hire a young, recently retired player to work alongside new hitting coach Steve Henderson, with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. explaining that “we’ve researched it quite a bit, so we’re going to go with a two-man crew.”

Another name to keep an eye on is Jim Thome, who has a great relationship with Manuel and would fit what the Phillies are looking for if he decides to retire after the season.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.