Sometimes, when you’re struggling, one of the only things that can help, is confidence from the people around you. Last night, Pete Mackanin had confidence is his struggling young first baseman Tommy Joseph. And Joseph delivered for him. Mackanin put Joseph in to pinch hit with one out, and the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the top of 7th inning. Joseph proceeded to give the Phillies (41-47) the 4-2 lead over the Rockies (39-47) by blasting a 455 foot home run, the Phillies longest home run, to deep left field. The Phillies bullpen was able to preserve that lead and give the Phillies the 5-3 victory over the Rockies in the second game of this four game series to close out the first half of the season.
There was very little offense in the early stages of last night’s ballgame, but the Rockies did strike for two runs in the first 5 innings. An RBI double by Carlos Gonzalez in the 3rd, and an RBI double by Trevor Story in the 5th gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead heading into the 7th inning. Cesar Hernandez got the Phillies on the board with an RBI single to left field in the top of the 7th inning. Joseph, who had been hitting .160 in his last 22 games, delivered with the go-ahead, three-run homer to deep left field that put the Phillies on top 4-2. The Rockies would get one back in the bottom half of the inning, as Story delivered an RBI single to make it a 4-3 game. But the Phillies would get an insurance run off an error that gave them a 5-3 lead. Hernandez and Freddy Galvis were the only two Phillies to record multiple hits in the game, and they combined to score 3 of the Phillies’ 5 runs.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez pitched 6 very strong innings last night, allowing just 2 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Velasquez picked up the win thanks to Joseph’s homer, and improves to 8-2 on the year with an ERA of 3.32. Andrew Bailey came in to pitch in the 7th inning and allowed the Rockies to pull within one. Hector Neris came in to relive Bailey and get the final out in the 7th inning. Neris went back out for the bottom of the 8th inning and got the first two outs until Mackanin brought in Jeanmar Gomez for the four-out save. Gomez delivered for Mackanin and the Phillies, as he picked up his 24th save of the year. Rockies starter Jon Gray pitched 6 and 1/3 solid innings, as he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks on the way to earning the no-decision. Jake McGee came in to relieve Gray, but he served up the go-ahead homer to Jospeh, so he suffered the loss in last night’s contest. McGee falls to 0-3 on the year with a 5.47 ERA.
The Phillies and Rockies will play the third of four games tonight at Coors Field at 8:40 p.m. Jerad Eickhoff (6-9, 3.30 ERA) will take the mound for the Phillies tonight against Rockies starter Tyler Anderson (0-3, 3.03 ERA). Eickhoff and the Phillies will look to continue their hot play of late as they want to head into the All-Star break on a positive note.
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