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.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).