Six days after turning in arguably the worst start of his major league career, Vince Velasquez delivered one of his best in leading the Phillies to a 9-3 win over the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank on Thursday afternoon.
Velasquez pitched no-hit ball before Trevor Story smacked an RBI double with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. The hit came on Velasquez’ 105th pitch and he was removed from the game to a standing ovation after that. Tommy Hunter came on and gave up an RBI single to make it a one-run game, but the Phillies hung on then pulled away for their first series win since May 21-23.
The win completed a 3-3 homestand for the Phils (35-31). They play the next three games in Milwaukee.
Velasquez’s last two starts have offered a wide-angle view of the talented but inconsistent 26-year-old right-hander. He was tagged for nine hits and a career-high 10 runs in a 12-4 loss to Milwaukee in his previous outing.
It’s safe to say that Velasquez rebounded nicely in this one (see story). He struck out six batters and walked two. He paid for a two-out walk in the seventh as it extended the inning for Story and led to the Rockies scoring two runs.
Velasquez relied heavily on his four-seam fastball. He threw the pitch 57 times and got eight of his 13 swing and misses on it. He hit 95.5 mph on the radar gun.
Velasquez is now 5-7 with a 4.74 ERA in 14 starts.
Velasquez was backed by the most runs the Phillies have scored in over a month. Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams both hit early home runs then contributed important run-scoring hits in the later innings. Hoskins had three RBIs. The Phillies had averaged just 3.1 runs per game while going 5-11 in their previous six games.
Slumping Odubel Herrera came back from a night off and had a pair of singles, including one that drove in a run in the seventh inning. The Phils scored four times in that inning to pull away.
Jake Arrieta (5-4, 2.97) pitches against Milwaukee lefty Brent Suter (6-4, 4.61) on Friday night.