KANSAS CITY — Thirteen years to the day after another lefty with the same first name made his successful major-league debut for the Phillies, Cole Irvin did the same on Sunday afternoon.
Irvin pitched seven innings and gave up just one run to backbone a 6-1 win over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Cole Hamels made his big-league debut on May 12, 2006. He pitched five shutout innings in a victory at Cincinnati that day.
The Phillies ended a six-game road trip to St. Louis and Kansas City with four wins and two losses. They lost the first game in both cities then won the next two by combined scores of 16-1 and 13-1. That’s pretty good resilience.
The Phillies lead the NL East at 23-16.
• Irvin’s poise was noticeable and impressive for a guy making his big-league debut. Like Zach Eflin the night before (he threw 110 pitches in a 7-0 shutout), Irvin showed a tremendous economy of pitches. He threw just 76 through the six innings and 93 through seven.
• For the second game in a row, the Phillies did a good job turning walks into runs. They did it three times in a six-run fifth inning. (The Phils turned three walks into runs the night before.) J.T. Realmuto and Odubel Herrera both drove in a pair of runs in that inning and Jean Segura started it off with an RBI single.
The 25-year-old lefty got the word he was coming to the majors late Friday night after it was learned that Vince Velasquez couldn’t answer the bell because of a sore right elbow. Irvin was 16-4 with a 2.50 ERA at Lehigh Valley over the last two seasons so he clearly earned his way to the opportunity.
Irvin is all pitcher. He’s not a thrower who looks to blow away guys. His fastball topped out at 91 mph. He mixed that with a slider and changeup over his seven innings of work. He scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five.
Where's the pop?
Despite having an extra bat in the lineup with the designated hitter, the Phillies did not hit a home run in the three-game series and have just three in the last eight games.
Ready for rehab
Scott Kingery is fully recovered from a hamstring injury. He will begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Single A Lakewood on Monday night. The plan is for Kingery to play seven innings at shortstop. Kingery is also expected to get time at second base, third base and possibly in center field during the rehab stint.
The Phillies return home Monday night to open a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers. Aaron Nola (3-0, 4.57) gets the ball in the opener. The Brewers had not yet announced a starter.
After Milwaukee, the Phils host Colorado for three.
The Phils are 14-7 at home.
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