Phillies Get to Hefner Early, Notch First Series Win of the Season

Phillies Get to Hefner Early, Notch First Series Win of the Season

The last time he faced the Phillies, Jeremy Hefner gave up six runs and never recorded an out.

On Wednesday night, the Mets starter was tagged for two homers in the first inning. Chase Utley went to dead-away center and Dom Brown to the second deck in right. Notice, by the way, the uncanny similarity between the picture above and the one we used in our pregame post.

It was part of a five-run first that sent the Phillies on their way to a 7-3 win and their first series win of the season.

Hefner lasted just three innings and 68 pitches before his exit. He's now given up 18 earned runs in 10.1 innings over four appearances against the Phillies.

Standing opposite, Kyle Kendrick allowed eight hits but worked his way out of multiple jams — included a base-loaded spot in the second — to cede just two runs in six innings pitched. Both runs came on solo shots, one to John Buck in the second and the other to Lucas Duda in the fourth. Buck went yard in each game of the series and now leads the majors with 15 RBI.

The game was stopped and the tarp rolled out for 27 minutes in the bottom of the fourth when a thunderstorm blew through.

The offense picked up again in the sixth when Laynce Nix pinch-hit for Kendrick and popped a two-run homer to right-center.

Thereafter, Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless seventh, Mike Adams allowed another solo homer to Duda in the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished things off just in time in the ninth.

Although the two ridiculous plays in the outfield from Jordany Valdespin were probably better, Ben Revere earns a special shoutout for his inning-ending double play in the fifth. After a Kendrick wild pitch moved Valdespin to third and Daniel Murphy to second with one out, Revere made a charging catch on a flyball to shallow-center, sort of managed to keep his balance on the wet grass, and got off the falling-down throw to pick off Murphy at second and end the inning.

And that'll wrap it up.

Official game time: 2 hours and 55 minutes, plus a 27-minute delay.

And the attendance: 38,715

Phils improve to 4-5 and have the day off on Thursday before opening a weekend set with the Marlins on Friday in Miami.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

BOX SCORE

BOSTON -- LeBron James scored 35 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 135-102 on Thursday night to claim their third straight Eastern Conference title and a return trip to the NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love finished with 15 for the Cavs, who never trailed and led by as many as 39 points in one of their most dominating wins of the series. The Cavs set an NBA record by winning their 13th consecutive series closeout opportunity.

Cleveland's 4-1 series' win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

It will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James.

Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points.

The Cavaliers basically conceded the East's top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest its starters in advance of the playoffs. But they displayed their superiority over the final two games to wrap up the series.

After allowing the Celtics to seize the early momentum in Game 4, the Cavs barely gave them the chance in Game 5.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

Love continued to knock down shots from the outside, Irving sliced his way into the lane to the rim and James got free for several of his one-handed, tomahawk dunks.

It was a very welcomed sight in Irving's case, after he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Cleveland's Game 4 win. He showed no signs of lingering issues, though, beating several defenders off the dribble and handing out seven assists.

Meanwhile, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver all helped spread out Boston's defenders by connecting on several wide-open scoring opportunities.

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland.

The Celtics did their best to keep up, but the consistent outside shooting, bench scoring and defense they relied on to stun Cleveland in Game 3 wasn't there Thursday night.

Tip-ins
Cavaliers: James has scored 30 or more points in 11 of Cleveland's 13 games this postseason. ... Improved to 36-5 against Eastern Conference opponents in the playoffs since 2015. ... The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for points in a quarter.

Celtics: Injured point guard Isaiah Thomas led his teammates in a pregame huddle before they took the court for warmups. Thomas sat out the rest of the series after aggravating a hip injury in Game 2. ... Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing. ... Were whistled for 16 fouls in the first half.