Just imagine what could happen to Todd Helton in his next game.
Say he singles in his first two at-bats Wednesday night. Then he gets up again, hits another single and breaks his ankle sliding into second base trying to stretch it into a double.
It would leave him out for the year. And it would leave him at .400 -- completely official for a full season.
Helton raised his average to .396, hitting three doubles and a home run Tuesday night for the Colorado Rockies as they got swept in a doubleheader by the New York Mets, 7-5 and 4-3.
By going 4-for-8, Helton now has the required 502 plate appearances needed to qualify for the batting title.
Helton's average is the highest for any hitter this late in a season since George Brett was batting over .400 in September 1980. Brett finished at .390 in his bid to become the first major leaguer to reach the magic mark since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.
Helton, however, was more interested in the Rockies' plight.
"It makes me miserable," he said. "We're here to win games. I played pretty decent, but the object is to win games."
In other NL games, Atlanta beat San Diego 3-1, Arizona downed Philadelphia 11-6, St. Louis stopped Chicago 4-2, San Francisco beat Montreal 9-7, Florida defeated Los Angeles 7-3, Milwaukee edged Cincinnati 2-1 and Houston beat Pittsburgh 5-4.
Helton is 17-for-24 in the first seven games of the Rockies' road trip. He has lifted his average 26 points in the last 12 games.
"I feel confident at the plate," he said. "I'm seeing the ball really well. That's the biggest thing for me."
Helton has 30 home runs and 104 RBIs, putting a Triple Crown within reach. Sammy Sosa leads the NL with 38 home runs and 107 RBIs.
The Mets won the opener with four runs in the seventh inning, taking advantage of four walks and a wild pitch. New York won the second game on Todd Zeile's go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.
Braves 3, Padres 1
Andres Galarraga led Atlanta to another victory, hitting a three-run homer in the seventh inning to beat San Diego at Turner Field.
Galarraga's 436-foot shot came with two outs. The Braves are 20-2 this year when he homers.
Chipper Jones went hitless for Atlanta, leaving him two hits shy of 1,000 for his career.
Diamondbacks 11, Phillies 6
Matt Williams hit a two-run homer and a three-run double as Arizona won at Veterans Stadium.
Williams has eight RBIs in two days at Philadelphia. Danny Bautista and Greg Colbrunn each had three hits as the Diamondbacks won their third in a row.
Bautista's two-run double off Wayne Gomes broke a 6-all tie in the eighth.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 2
Sammy Sosa hit his major league-leading 38th home run in Chicago's loss to St. Louis at Wrigley Field.
Sosa homered for the second straight day, connecting off Garrett Stephenson in the first. Stephenson tied teammate Darryl Kile with 13 victories -- only six NL pitchers have reached the mark.
Giants 9, Expos 7
J.T. Snow hit a grand slam and a solo homer, driving in a career-high six runs as San Francisco won at Montreal.
Vladimir Guerrero homered twice for the Expos. The teams combined for eight home runs, matching the record for a game at Olympic Stadium.
Snow hit his second grand slam of the year and seventh of his career in the first inning. He homered in the sixth and added a sacrifice fly.
Marlins 7, Dodgers 3
Ryan Dempster pitched eight impressive innings as Florida beat visiting Los Angeles.
Dempster gave up one run and three hits, striking out eight.
Luis Castillo had three hits for the Marlins, raising his average to .355. Henry Rodriguez and Preston Wilson each had two hits and drove in two runs for Florida.
Astros 5, Pirates 4
Jose Lima overcame two early home runs as Houston came back to beat Pittsburgh at Enron Field.
Adrian Brown led off the game with a homer and Brian Giles connected later in the first inning. Lima has allowed a major league-leading 38 home runs, an Astros record.
Jeff Bagwell, Daryle Ward and Chris Truby homered as Houston won its third in a row.
Giles homered, tripled and doubled in his first three at-bats. He was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning and was left on deck when the game ended.
Brewers 2, Reds 1
Richie Sexson homered early, then singled home the winning run with two outs in bottom of the 10th inning at County Stadium.
Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out. After Cincinnati reliever Larry Luebbers struck out Geoff Jenkins, Sexson lined a single.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.