Joe Blanton Makes First Start as Phils Look for First Series Win

Joe Blanton Makes First Start as Phils Look for First Series Win

After a jam-packed evening -- loved the Flyers' jam especially -- in Philly sports on Wednesday night, the lone baseball game this evening at CBP seems almost like a break from the madness. There's no break for the Phillies, however, with tonight being the second of 15 games in 15 days.

Joe Blanton will make his first start of the 2012 season but did make one appearance out of the bullpen in Pittsburgh. That didn't go real well as Joe the Lumber gave up one run on two hits in 2/3 innings of work which earned him the L.

In his last start, Blanton was relieved by one Cole Hamels. Pretty sure that's not going to happen again tonight. That was way back on September 28, 2011 when the Phils were finishing the season in Atlanta and trying to fine tune for the postseason. Blanton didn't get a decision in his five appearances after coming back from the DL late last season.

The Phillies offense will face Mark Buehrle, the Marlins' expensive offseason starting pitching acquisition, for the first time since 2004 for the White Sox in inter-league play. He took the loss in his first start of the season against the Reds back on April 5th, giving up 2 earned on 6 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings of work.

No Juan Pierre in the lineup for the Fightins tonight as Charlie has bumped Shane Victorino back up to the leadoff spot and will play Ty Wigginton at first and John Mayberry Jr. in left.

Charlie's Nine: 1. Victorino, 2. Polanco, 3. Rollins 4. Pence, 5. Mayberry, 6. Wigginton, 7. Ruiz, 8. Galvis, 9. Blanton.

First pitch scheduled for 7:05. Bring a jacket. It was mad chilly last night.

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.