Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Phillies' big inning, Velasquez sink D-backs

When the Phillies hosted the D-backs for four games a week ago, their offense struggled. That certainly wasn't the case Monday night in the series opener of a three-game set between the two teams at Chase FIeld.
Philadelphia pounded out 16 hits in an 8-0 win. Maikel Franco had three RBIs, Cesar Hernandez drove in a pair of runs, and Odubel Herrera collected four hits at the top of the order. The Phillies scored more runs than they did in that four-game series against the D-backs (five runs).
"This whole road trip, starting in Minnesota, then in San Francisco, we've been swinging the bats very well, which is very nice to see," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It was a good game for us all the way around."
Vince Velasquez (6-2) picked up the win in his first start off the disabled list, as the Phillies won for the third time in five games, but for just the fourth time in their past 19. He struck out seven over five innings.
D-backs starter Robbie Ray (4-7) lost for the second straight start, allowing four earned runs on nine hits in six-plus innings. Arizona was shut out for the fourth time this season and fell to 13-26 at Chase Field -- the second-worst home record in the Majors.
"They just beat us tonight," D-backs outfielder Michael Bourn said. "No way around it. We'll be back tomorrow, though."
Phils break through first: After five scoreless innings, the Phillies pieced together a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Herrera and Peter Bourjos started the inning with consecutive singles, advancing to second and third on a wild pitch. Franco and Cameron Rupp drove them in with back-to-back RBI singles for a 2-0 lead.
"We started off slow against Ray, he's got good stuff, and got to him a bit there," Mackanin said. "It's nice to see the offense coming around, which will hopefully help us turn the corner."
Third time not the charm: Ray held the Phillies in check his first two times through the order allowing just three hits in five shutout innings. Things took a turn for the worse for Ray the third time around, though, as the Phillies went 6-for-9 and scored four runs. Ray left the game in the seventh when a blister developed on the index finger of his left hand.
"It's a little blood blister," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Hopefully with the extra day with the off day on Thursday he'll be OK [for his next start]." More >
Welcome back: Velasquez provided the Phillies with five strong innings in his return from the disabled list. The right-hander made his first start since June 8 -- when he threw just two pitches then went on the DL with a strained right biceps. Velasquez scattered five hits and issued no walks, striking out seven and earning his first win since May 17. It was also the first time he lasted five innings since then, after not going deeper than four in his prior four outings.
"I feel really good," Velasquez said. "I felt pretty strong, all the way through I had no hesitation, no doubts, no nothing, just pretty much trusting myself and try to get five innings in and get a 'W.'" More >
"Bourjos is probably the hottest hitter in baseball right now, he's raised his average it seems like 100 points the last three weeks," -- Mackanin, on Bourjos, who went 3-for-5 and is 14-for-27 through the first seven games of this road trip
Mackanin won a challenge in the bottom of the sixth. Bourn was called safe on a steal attempt on the third strike of a Paul Goldschmidt strikeout. However, Bourn came off the bag after the throw from Rupp arrived, while second baseman Hernandez kept his tag applied. The call was overturned after a brief review lasting 1 minute, 2 seconds, and Bourn made the second out of the inning.
Phillies: Jerad Eickhoff looks to cap an impressive June in the second of a three-game set against the D-backs at 9:40 ET at Chase Field. The Phillies right-hander has won three of his last four starts and has posted a 2.01 ERA in five starts this month. Eickhoff (5-9, 3.36) lost his only career start against Arizona on June 18.
D-backs: Zack Greinke will look to pick up his eighth win in nine starts when he takes the mound Tuesday night against the Phillies at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field. Greinke is 7-0 with a 2.18 ERA over his last eight starts and 10-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his last 13.

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