Halladay Pulled Mid Seventh, Earns 15th Win After Pen Stumbles But Holds On

Halladay Pulled Mid Seventh, Earns 15th Win After Pen Stumbles But Holds On

You'd think an early 3-0 lead with Roy Halladay throwing would make for a relatively painless game, but Monday night's 5-3 victory had its share of tense moments.

The Dodgers had two men on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, trailing the Phillies 4-1. Roy Halladay didn't have his best stuff all evening, but when Charlie Manuel walked to the mound following the walk to Casey Blake, Doc didn't want to come out.

It didn't matter what Halladay wanted on this occasion, as Charlie had already made up his mind and signaled to the pen for Antonio Bastardo to face Andre Ethier.

When they came back from the warm-up commercial break, Halladay was seen sitting on the bench, visibly upset, mouthing swear words to nobody in particular.

Bastardo missed on his first three straight pitches -- all close, but not on the plate. Ethier had a green light and was swinging at what could have very well been ball four. On the next pitch, he grounded to Jimmy Rollins who flipped it to Chase Utley over on to Ryan Howard to end the inning.

As Wheels said during the telecast, for all Roy Halladay does for this team, every once in a while you've got to pick him up. And they tried to do just that, but certainly didn't make it easy. Bastardo's double play ball was huge.

Stutes came in to pitch the eighth and didn't look sharp from the get go. He allowed a pair of singles, a run scored, had a throwing error, and recorded one out before Charlie yanked him in favor of Brad Lidge. The former closer had to make things interesting for old time's sake. Lidge walked Rod Barajas to put men on first and second with one out.

Pinch hitter Juan Rivera singled to left to score Aaron Miles and advance the tying run of Velez to second. That's when things got weird with Dee Gordon coming up to bat with the Phils still holding on to a slim 4-3 lead.

The Dodgers' speedster hit a slow chopper towards Chase Utley, who appeared poised to handle the ball cleanly when he was absolutely bulled over by Rivera on his way to second. With Utley never getting a chance to handle the ball cleanly, the play is ruled dead and Rivera is out. Velez was forced to go back to second. Lidge then made a fantastic fielding play complete with glove flip to Ryan Howard on a bunt attempt along the first base line by Tony Gwynn Jr to end the wild inning.

Phew.

Shane Victorino golfed a homer, reminiscent of his beautiful jack in the 2008 NLCS, in the top of the ninth to push the Phillies cushion to 5-3 before Ryan Madson took over for the save attempt.

Madson gave up a single to Casey Blake to start, before getting Ethier to pop up to Martinez in foul territory followed by getting Kemp on strikes for two outs. Mad Dog's change up was working something nasty.

On the final pitch of the night, Aaron Miles bounced a ball in front of the plate which Chooch handled cleanly and threw down to Ryan Howard to secure the win for Roy Halladay, his 15th of the season, and send us Phillies fans to sleep happy.

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How They Scored: Big Piece hit an RBI infield single in the first. J-Roll ripped a two-run double in the second. Howard delivered again in the 7th with an RBI double. And Victorino jacked his 12th homer in the ninth.

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Read Jim Salisbury's full game story here.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story). 

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets top Red Wings to notch 5th straight win

DETROIT -- Brandon Dubinsky scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period and the surging Columbus Blue Jackets won their fifth straight game, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Lukas Sedlak got his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, who have earned at least a point in 12 of their last 13 games. Cam Atkinson contributed a short-handed goal in the first period for Columbus.

Dylan Larkin's power-play goal in the second was the only scoring of the night for the Red Wings. Sergei Bobrovsky had 32 saves for the Blue Jackets.

Sam Gagner scored into an empty net with 13.9 seconds remaining (see full story). 

Staal scores in 6th round of SO to lift Wild over Oilers
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Eric Staal scored in the sixth round of a shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Friday night.

Matt Dumba and Jason Zucker scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won three straight.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves. He entered with a league-best .946 save percentage and 1.65 goals-against average.

Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had goals for the Oilers, whose four-game losing streak began with a 2-1 home overtime loss to the Wild last Sunday.

Staal scored on a backhand deke before Nugent-Hopkins fired wide in the sixth round (see full story). 

Raanta, Rangers beat Blackhawks, 1-0, in overtime
CHICAGO -- Nick Holden scored 55 seconds into overtime, Antti Raanta made 26 saves against his former team and the New York Rangers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 on Friday night.

Derek Stepan passed from the boards to a streaking Holden in the middle of the ice, and he beat Scott Darling on the stick side for his fourth goal of the season.

Darling was going for his second straight shutout while subbing for injured starter Corey Crawford but had to settle for another solid performance.

Raanta, who made his NHL debut with Chicago in 2013 and played for the Blackhawks for two seasons before he was traded to New York, improved to 15-0-3 in 20 career appearances at the United Center.

The 27-year-old Raanta had 17 saves in Thursday's 2-1 victory at Winnipeg, and coach Alain Vigneault opted to give him a second straight start over Henrik Lundqvist because of his recent play and his success in Chicago (see full story).

Oshie, Johansson, Grubauer lift Caps over Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson each scored a goal, Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Jakub Vrana and John Carlson also scored, helping Washington beat Buffalo for the third time in 15 days.

Kyle Okposo scored and Robin Lehner made 25 saves for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost three of their last four.

Oshie gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 6:43 into the second period when he lifted a shot from the right edge of the crease past Lehner. Jay Beagle drew two defenders into the corner and sent the puck back to a wide open Oshie for his ninth goal of the season (see full story).