Phillies Start Second Half With 7-2 Win Behind Fine Play From Ibanez, Mayberry

Phillies Start Second Half With 7-2 Win Behind Fine Play From Ibanez, Mayberry

Ahh, Phillies victories. It's been days since we've gotten to experience one of those. Unlike last season, when the Phillies stumbled into the second half after the All-Star break, the Phillies wasted no time getting back to where they left off last week. They rode the fine play of Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, and the solid pitching of Worley and the pen to beat the Mets 7-2. As they should.

The Phils got to Dickey early, putting up 3 runs in the second inning. Raul Ibanez started things off with a single to left. Sports Illustrated cover boy Carlos Ruiz smacked a single up the middle and then Domonic Brown worked a base on balls to load the bases. John Mayberry Jr. smacked a single up the middle to put the Phils up 2-0 and Charlie then gave Vance Worley a green line which paid off. Worley weakly grounded out to third, but Brown was either running all the way from third or got a great read on the ball and scored without a play. Jimmy popped out to end the inning, but the Phils were up 3-0 and never looked back.

After making an impressive diving grab out in left field in the bottom of the fifth, Rauuuuuul did it at the dish in the top half of the following inning, bashing a homer out towards Utley's corner that put the Phillies up 4-0. It was Ibanez's 13th homer of the season.

Vanimal Earns the Win

Vance Worley was okay in his first start back from his short stint with Lehigh Valley. He managed to avoid any real trouble until the bottom of the sixth. A walk to Carlos Beltran, a single to David Murphy, and another walk to Jason Bay loaded the bases with one out and Charlie had seen enough from Vance. Manuel went with 9-pitch-inning-is-this-guy-for-real Juan Perez whose effectively wild style came back to bite the Phillies just a bit. Perez threw a wild pitch that allowed the Mets to get one on the board. He almost threw another one away to the following batter, but Chooch miraculously kept it in front of him. Perez finally forced a groundout to Martinez to end the inning with only minimal damage done.

Madson to Stutes to Bastardo

Needing three innings from the pen, Charlie had the luxury of using Ryan Madson in the seventh, easing him back into major league action. Madson looked sharp in his first game back from the DL, hitting 95 on the gun, and striking out Ruben Tejada and Jason Pridie (who?) before forcing Angel Pagan to pop out to center. Not a bad seventh inning guy, eh?

Michael Stutes hiccuped a blast of a homer to Carlos Beltran and had to really work to limit the Mets to only one run in the eighth.

Despite having a five run lead, Antonio  Bastardo was called on to pitch the ninth. And he did it well (1-2-3). Finishing off the Mets and completing the Phillies win to kick off the second half on the right foot.

Per the broadcast this evening, Antonio Bastardo has held opponents to one hit in their last 48 at-bats.

LOLMets & Big John

After Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada screwed up a routine groundball that would have ended the eighth inning, Mayberry ripped a bases-loaded double that scored 'em all. 7-2 Phils. Game over. [watch the double here]

Big John continues to swing a hot bat, finishing the day 2-4 with 5 RBIs.

Eye On the Enemy

The Braves kept pace with the Phillies by beating the Nationals 11-1 in Atlanta. [box]

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

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome 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 114-84
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 114-110
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 4-1
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).