Kevin McAlpin covers the Phillies for 97.5 The Fanatic.  Follow Kevin for the latest Phillies news on Twitter.

The Phillies look to win their eighth straight at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon in the finale of a four-game set with the Rockies.  Prior to the All-Star Break, the Phils swept the then-first-place Reds out of town.  This afternoon, they'll try and break out the brooms and send the Rockies to their sixth straight defeat.  On Thursday, Milt Thompson was relieved of his duties as hitting coach.  Under the Greg Gross regime, the Phillies have tallied 20 runs over their last three contests.  

This afternoon, Joe Blanton (3-6, 6.03) takes the mound looking to bounce back from a loss on Wednesday at St. Louis where he gave up five runs on seven hits in seven innings.  Blanton hasn't registered a win since June 24 where he tossed seven-and-two-thirds innings against the Indians.  This afternoon also marks Blanton's first career start against Colorado.  The Rockies counter with Jason Hammel (7-5, 4.23) who's lost back-to-back starts and has given up eight runs over his last 14 innings.  Coming into this afternoon, Hamel is just 1-4 on the road with an ERA close to 6.  A win for the Phillies today would earn them their first ever four-game sweep over the Rockies.  In May of 2008, the Phillies swept a three-game set, and are 16-5 in their last 21 against Colorado.

Phillies Line-Up:  Rollins SS, Polanco 2B, Ibanez LF, Howard 1B, Gload RF, Victorino CF, Dobbs 3B, Schneider C, Blanton (3-6, 6.03) P.  Charlie Manuel said today that Jayson Werth and Carlos Ruiz are getting the day off (no, Werth hasn't been traded!)

Howard Heating Up:  Yesterday, Ryan Howard extended his hitting streak to 11 straight.  Since the All-Star Break, Howard is batting a torrid .372 with five homers and 13 RBI.

Deadline Deadling?:  With the Major League Baseball trade deadline this Saturday, word is that the Phillies aren't out of the Roy Oswalt conversation yet.  An Astros scout was at Citizens Bank Park yesterday to watch J.A. Happ who gave up three runs over five innings.  The Phillies, among other teams, had a scout to watch Oswalt in his start over the weekend.