Pence Protects, Howard Bashes In Phillies 7-4 Win

Pence Protects, Howard Bashes In Phillies 7-4 Win

Hunter Pence was greeted to a standing ovation as he ran out to right field, acknowledging his new fans on a warm Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. The fans weren't necessarily cheering Pence's performance on the night, at least not initially, as the newest Phillie went 1-5 in his debut in red pinstripes. They were just happy to have the All-Star outfielder on the club to help get them that typically elusive late October parade down Broad Street.

Pence eventually gave the fans a real reason to cheer him after starting the night 0-4 at the dish. (To his defense, he was robbed of a single in the second inning when he showed off his hustle and legged out a shoulda-been infield single. First base ump Angel Hernandez called him out despite Pence clearly beating the throw. Charlie Manuel defended his new guy and gave fans a chance to get their "Char-lie! Char-lie!" chants on as he argued.)

He had a chance to turn his night at the plate around late in a close game and didn't disappoint. Ryan Howard's new five hole protection delivered big in the eighth inning.

Clint Hurdle and the Pirates opted to intentionally walk the Big Piece after Shane led off the inning with a triple and Utley pulled a failed squeeze attempt.

That brought up Pence with a chance to do some real damage. He ripped a single up the middle, earning his first RBI as a Phillie and putting them up 7-4.

But the Phillies didn't really need a big contribution from the new guy, at least not tonight, as Ryan Howard, Chooch, and Jimmy Rollins were swinging hot bats while Cliff Lee lasted 7.2 innings.

Lee pitched well for most of the evening before getting into some trouble in the eighth. He allowed 4 runs on 8 hits while striking out 11 through his 7.2 innings of work. Antonio Bastardo came in to get the final out in the eight and did so by striking out Pedro Alvarez swinging.

Phife Dog also ripped a pair of hits on the night, and accounted for one of the Phillies runs when he scored on an Utley single to put the Phils up 4-2 in the fourth. Later in on in the seventh, Cliff almost legged out an infield single on a close play on a routine ball to short. Gotta respect this guy's hustle.

Ryan Madson did his thing in the ninth, striking out the side in a 1-2-3 inning to earn his 18th save of the season.

Ryan Howard Cycle Watch

The Big Piece was swinging an extremely hot bat on Saturday, finishing the evening 4-4 with an IBB and 3 RBIs. He also blasted a long solo shot deep into the ivy in center. Howard later bashed a ball to the warning track in left center, right in front of the wall Utley bounced an inside the parker off just the other day, and Andrew McCutchen got his glove onto the ball, but couldn't hold on. Needing only a triple at the time to complete the cycle, Ryan Howard was in all out sprint mode as he approached second. He eventually realized it was not meant to be and pulled up, content with the double.

Not a bad overall night at CBP. Pence makes his debut to warm ovations and the Phils bats do plenty to give Cliff Lee a victory after a real nice outing.

Final score: Phillies 7, Pirates 4

Earlier: Hunter Pence Grateful for Chance to Win in Philly


Look at Pence's hustle! And socks!

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."

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

The magician himself needed help on this one.

His bow tie.

Hey, this is what teammates are for, right?

On Monday night, Eagles longsnapper and NBC's America's Got Talent star Jon Dorenbos emceed safety Malcolm Jenkins' third annual Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event, which raises money for Philadelphia's youth and underserved communities.

Dorenbos, quite the wizard with his hands and card tricks, couldn't solve the bow tie.

“I had no clue,” Dorenbos said in an interview with CSN's John Clark. "In fact, this is the first bow tie I’ve ever worn.”

Jenkins had his back. Watch the Eagles' leader go to work and save Dorenbos in the video above.