Dom Brown, Interleague Play Descend On Philadelphia

Dom Brown, Interleague Play Descend On Philadelphia

A double dose of awesome this evening for Phillies fans as not only is Roy Halladay getting the start but beloved phenom Dom Brown has rejoined the big league club. Unfortunately, the lanky left-hander will not get the start this evening as Charlie Manuel said before the game that Brown likely won't start against lefties, at least initially, as the skipper wants to ease him into the lineup. But Manuel also noted that this isn't last season, and Brown won't be mired on the bench like the end of last season. Expect to see Dom get plenty of welcomed time this summer.

Along with Dom Brown, the Phillies will welcome Inter-League play back to Philadelphia tonight as the Texas Rangers are in town for a three game set.

Interleague Play

As for the merits of Inter-League, put me in the camp of "It's great because it allows fans to see guys they may otherwise never see." That said, you can't disregard the major flaws in the system which Jayson Stark does a wonderful job outlining. One of his most poignant examples involves some NL East discrepancies, "The Mets will play 15 interleague games against teams currently .500 or better (plus three against the Angels, who are just a game under .500). The Nationals could play none. How does THAT happen?"

Charlie Manuel has grumbled about similar situations in the past, but it doesn't appear like MLB is set to do anything about it anytime soon. As we all know to well, the Phillies have not been great in their regular season games against the AL (106-129 all-time), although they did finish 2010 with a 10-8 record against the Junior Circuit.

Straight Edge Racer vs. Doc

Kyle Kendrick is not starting for the Phillies tonight, which is nice. Roy Halladay (5-3, 2.21) will take on C.J. Wilson (4-2, 3.38) who has a relatively popular Twitter account. Just this afternoon he said this of facing Roy Halladay at the dish, "I'm up against the CYborg."

(see a higher resolution of the above Roy Halladay/Cyborg photo here)

Having spent the early part of his career in the AL, Halladay has plenty of experience against the Rangers -- 20 games to be exact. Roy is 7-7 with a 5.36 ERA against them. Not very Doc-like. Current Rangers Michael Young (.279 BA in 44 PA), Ian Kinsler (.316 BA in 21 PA), and David Murphy (.500 in 8 PA) have solid numbers against him.

The weather lately in South Philly is bizarre. It was raining earlier before it got hot and quasi sunny. It's become even more impossible to predict in recent weeks. Who knows what tonight's forecast entails.

Dom Dom Dom

John Mayberry Jr. will start in center this evening with Raul Ibanez and Ben Francisco on either side of him. Wilson Valdez will bat and play second . Your chances of seeing Dom Brown make an appearance tonight are slim, because all Roy Halladay does is complete games.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05.

Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

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Brian Carroll's goal in 92nd minute gives Union draw with Rapids

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- Brian Carroll tied it in 92nd minute and the Union escaped with a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids in a showdown of the Western and Eastern conference leaders.

Carroll ran underneath Fabian Herbers' high-arching header and slotted the finish under goalkeeper Zac MacMath from close range.

The Union (5-3-5) responded only 5 minutes after the Rapids (8-2-4) opened the scoring on Sam Cronin's header in the 87th minute. Cronin made a deep run to connect with Marlon Hairston's cross from the right flank, redirecting it into the far corner of the goal.

Both Dillon Powers and Luis Solignac had shots crash off the crossbar for the Rapids after the 70th minute.

The Union extended their unbeaten streak to seven while the Rapids stayed unbeaten in their nine home games this season.

Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

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Chase Utley haunts Mets in Dodgers' rout at Citi Field

NEW YORK -- Chase Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing the New York Mets 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch -- almost certainly his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year's playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers' bench to keep teammates calm -- and later answered by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that appeared to hit him in the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings for the win. The right-hander yielded two hits, both in the first, and snapped his three-game losing streak.

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets' 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Corey Seager and Howie Kendrick also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets -- and their fans -- were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard's first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman's back by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets' dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett's first pitch of the sixth to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, giving Los Angeles a 6-0 cushion with his 38th career homer against the Mets.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

Where are you now?
Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

Trainer's room
Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

Up next
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts against the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May -- including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

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USA Today Images

Soul drop 1st road game of season to Gladiators

The Soul fell on the road to the Cleveland Gladiators, 63-49, at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.

The loss was just the second of the season and the first away from the Wells Fargo Center for the Soul. Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh completed 25 of 44 passes for 342 yards and seven touchdownsi in a losing effort.

The Gladiators were led by receiver Quentin Sims, who finished with 10 receptions for 114 yards and three touchdowns, and signal caller Arvell Nelson who completed 22 of 36 passes for 307 yards and seven touchdowns.

Next week, the Soul travel to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks on Saturday, June 4. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and 97.5 The Fanatic.  Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.