Lucky Number Seven? Phillies Looking to Stay Hot

Lucky Number Seven? Phillies Looking to Stay Hot

Don't look now, but the Fightins are in danger of climbing out of the basement. With a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox last night, the Phillies are winners in six straight, and seven of their last eight, pushing their record to two games above .500. They've pulled even with the Mets for last place, half a game behind the Marlins for third, and only four back of the Braves who have managed to creep into first.

The series with Boston continues tonight, as Joe Blanton takes the ball against Jon Lester.

Lester is 2-3 with a 3.71 after getting off to a bit of a rough start. He's been better lately, allowing one run or fewer in three of his last four starts, and no more than three in any. His last outing was the strongest of the season, holding the Mariners to one run over nine innings.

Blanton owns the uneviable assignment of following Cole Hamels, who earned his sixth W of the season last night, tied for the most in baseball. Heavy B has been up to the task though, going 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in starts. He's doing his job -- eating up innings and keeping the team in ball games -- and then some.

Chooch is in the lineup, so I like the Phillies' odds. After another huge game last night (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Carlos Ruiz has his batting average up to .371, and is making it hard for All Star voters to say no. Don't forget to vote if you're reading this!

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

USA Today Images

Temple picked to finish 6th in AAC preseason poll

This is starting to become a trend. One Temple hopes to continue to prove wrong.

For the third straight year, Temple was chosen to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll. The poll, which was released on Monday, is voted on by the conference's head coaches.

Also selected to finish sixth last season, the Owls posted a 21-12 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the AAC to reach the NCAA Tournament. In 2014-15, TU tied for third in the AAC with a 13-5 record and was one of the last teams left out of the Big Dance.

Cincinnati was tabbed to win the American title in the poll, just ahead of UConn.

Temple, who returns three starters from last season's team, opens the 2016-17 campaign against city rival La Salle at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 11.