Halladay Returns to Ovation and Trash Thrown on Field (And to Top It Off Rauch Got Ejected)

Halladay Returns to Ovation and Trash Thrown on Field (And to Top It Off Rauch Got Ejected)

Roy Halladay returned to Toronto to face the Blue Jays on Saturday and received a well-deserved, long standing ovation before making his first pitches of the game. Doc gave his former fans a show, thrown yet another complete game win, as the Phillies took game 2 of the series by a 5-3 count.

The Phillies' bats gave Halladay some decent support, particularly later in the game. The kind Canadian crowd began to sour after the Chase Utley bopped a two-run homer to get the Phils a 4-3 lead in the seventh. By the time the game was over, Blue Jays reliever Jon Rauch had been ejected, forcefully and with some amount of disrobing (video below, while it lasts), as had manager John Farrell. Long live umpire Alfonso Marquez. One Jays fan ran onto the field, and quite a few threw trash on it. Video below.

And on Canada Day weekend?!

Halladay stoically soldiered through the delays and distractions, facing only three batters in the bottom of the ninth, including his eighth strikeout of the day and inducing a double play after allowing a single. He let up an absolute bomb to Jose Bautista in the fourth, one that hit the windows in center and measured 449 feet. But overall, aside from a pair of runs in the fifth, Doc was the cyborg Toronto fans were accustomed to seeing for more than a decade.

Ryan Howard's RBI single in the first moved him ahead of Bobby Abreu on the Phillies all-time RBI list, where he now sits at 8th, with 815 in 958 games. Next on the list is Pat Burrell, who had 827 in 1306 games.

Here's Rauch getting tossed and losing his shirt. 

Things may be a little light the rest of the weekend, with most of us being out of town for the holiday weekend. My vacation also beginnnnnss now. Hope everyone has a great 4th of July.

Photo by Tom Szczerbowski-US Presswire

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.