The last time Vince Velasquez took the mound for the Phillies, he threw only two pitches in the mid-80s and exited with what was diagnosed as a right biceps strain. Velasquez was placed on the 15-day DL after that start, but last night he made his return from the DL and picked up right where he left off in his promising first full season in the big leagues. Velasquez’s 5 shutout innings gave the Phillies (33-45) offense a nice boost as they would put up 8 runs in the game on the way to an 8-0 victory over the Diamondbacks (36-43).
The Phillies’ offense has been hitting very well in every game so far on this current road trip, and last night was no different. The Phillies offense couldn’t do much for the first 5 innings last night, but the offense exploded during the 6th and 7th innings of the game. Maikel Franco opened up the scoring for the Phillies with an RBI single to left that gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The next batter, Cameron Rupp, also delivered an RBI single and gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead after six. Cody Asche doubled home Cesar Hernandez to get the Phillies’ offense going in the 7th. Odubel Herrera then singled home Asche to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. Maikel Franco delivered a 2 RBI single a few batters later making it 6-0 Phillies. Finally, Hernandez delivered a 2 RBI single that gave the Phillies 6 runs in the inning, and 8 in the game. Herrera was the standout player at the plate for the Phillies, as he went 4 for 5 with a double, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Franco also stepped up big at the plate, driving in the 3 runs on 2 singles while also scoring a run himself.
Vince Velasquez showed no signs that he still had any issues with his recent bicep strain as he consistently was back in the mid-90s in his 5 innings of work last night. Velasquez allowed just 5 hits and struck out 7 batters in his 5 scoreless frames. Velasquez improves to 6-2 on the year with a 3.38 ERA thanks to last night’s victory. Edubray Ramos delivered 2 perfect innings of relief for the Phillies last night, while Hector Neris and Severino Gonzalez each provided an inning of scoreless relief. Arizona starter Robbie Ray was cruising through the first 5 innings in last night’s game, but struggled after that as he finished with 4 runs allowed in 6 innings of work. Ray falls to 5-7 on the year with a 4.69 ERA after suffering the loss.
The Phillies and Dbacks will be back at it tonight as they will play the second game in this three game series in Arizona. Jerad Eickhoff (5-9, 3.36 ERA) will be on the bump tonight for the Phillies as he takes on Dbacks ace Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.61 ERA). Eickhoff has been the most consistent and effective pitcher all month for the Phillies and he will look to help the Phillies get a win streak started an clinch a series victory against the Diamondbacks.
Photo by Keith Allison (via Wikimedia Commons)