Scott Kingery

Rockies 4, Phillies 3: Stunning loss on 2-out, 2-strike walk-off homer in 12th inning

Rockies 4, Phillies 3: Stunning loss on 2-out, 2-strike walk-off homer in 12th inning

BOX SCORE

DENVER — Charlie Blackmon's two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th against Juan Nicasio gave the Colorado Rockies a 4-3 win over the Phillies on Friday night.

The home run came with two outs on a 1-2 count.

Bryce Harper’s fifth hit of the game, a double to the gap in left-center with two outs in the top of the 12th inning, scored Phil Gosselin from first base and gave the Phils the lead.

The Phils had 17 hits, but only three for extra bases. The Phils were 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left 19 men on on base.

Those missed chances killed the Phillies.

Colorado has won two in a row against the Phils. The Phillies are 4-12 against the Rockies since the start of 2017.

The Phillies are 11-8.

The Rockies are 8-12.

In a troubling subplot, the Phillies lost two more players to injury. Andrew McCutchen exited with left knee inflammation in the sixth inning. Earlier Scott Kingery exited with a hamstring injury suffered while legging out a ground ball in the fourth inning. The team called it a “strain,” which would seem to signal a trip to the injured list for Kingery (see story).

The keys

• Colorado right-hander German Marquez pitched a one-hit shutout with no walks and nine strikeouts against the Giants in his previous outing. The Phillies tripled that hits total in the first inning as they broke out to a 1-0 lead. They worked Marquez for 26 pitches in the inning and were into the Rockies’ bullpen in the sixth inning.

• Vince Velasquez pitched well for the Phillies. He carried a shutout and a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. But Velasquez had trouble putting away hitters in that frame. Trevor Story hit a 459-foot homer to left on an 0-2 fastball (96 mph) to make it a one-run game. Ian Desmond doubled on a 2-2 pitch with two outs and Garrett Hampson followed with a broken-bat double to left on a full-count fastball (97 mph) to tie the game.

• Catcher J.T. Realmuto cut down Blackmon trying to steal second with one out in the seventh. It was a big play in a tight game. Realmuto has caught three would-be base stealers in two nights.

Velasquez's night

The enigmatic right-hander continued to make strides with his third straight solid start. He gave up just the two runs in 5 2/3 innings and struck out eight. The only walk he surrendered was intentional. Over three starts, Velasquez has pitched 16 2/3 innings and given up just five runs. He seems to be pitching with more poise than in the past.

Velasquez had a big fastball and he used it often. Sixty-four of his 97 pitches were fastballs and he got 15 swinging strikes on the pitch, which topped out at 98 mph.

Health check

The Phillies have been beset by a series of injuries in recent days. Reliever David Robertson was placed on the injured list with an elbow strain. Odubel Herrera went on the IL with a hamstring strain. Jean Segura is not on the IL, but he has missed three straight games with a sore hamstring.

Injuries continued to mount as Kingery left this game in the fourth inning and McCutchen in the sixth.

Kingery started at shortstop. He was replaced by Gosselin.

Up next

Aaron Nola looks to break an early season slump when he faces the Rockies and right-hander Antonio Senzatela on Saturday night.

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Phillies' Scott Kingery exits game with hamstring injury

Phillies' Scott Kingery exits game with hamstring injury

DENVER — Scott Kingery left Friday night’s game against Colorado with a right hamstring injury.

Kingery grabbed his hamstring while running out a ground ball in the fourth inning.

He was in the midst of his third straight start at shortstop, filling in for Jean Segura who, coincidentally, was out of the lineup with a hamstring injury.

Odubel Herrera is also out with a hamstring injury.

Phil Gosselin, the former Malvern Prep and University of Virginia star, made his Phillies’ debut and took over at shortstop for the Phillies after Kingery exited. Gosselin is a West Chester native.

Segura is not on the injured list. He was tentatively scheduled to return on Sunday. He could be pressed into duty on Saturday night.

Kingery left the field with athletic trainer Scott Sheridan by his side.

Kingery had been swinging a hot bat and was looking at getting more playing time (see story).

More later (see story).

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The super-sub portion of Scott Kingery's career is coming into focus

The super-sub portion of Scott Kingery's career is coming into focus

DENVER — Scott Kingery made his third straight start at shortstop for the Phillies on Friday night. He has been filling in for Jean Segura, who has been nursing a minor hamstring injury.

“My inclination, though I’m not swearing by it, is to start Scott again [Saturday night] at shortstop,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “We’re potentially targeting Sunday as a day to get Jean back in the lineup.”

Once Segura is ready, he will get most of the reps at shortstop. The Phillies didn’t trade for him so he could split time.

So what happens with Kingery, who has swung the bat very well in limited time this season?

Kapler indicated that Kingery would fill the super-utility role that the organization envisioned when it signed him to a six-year, $24 million contract in the spring of 2018.

“I think there’s more of a need to get him in the lineup because of how well he’s performing,” Kapler said. “It’s less of a ‘let’s get him reps to keep him fresh thing,’ and more of a, ‘this helps us win thing.’

“His reps could come at shortstop here and there. They could come in the outfield here and there. He certainly has emerged as an option at second and third base.”

Kingery played some outfield at the University of Arizona and he’s played some in spring training. He played briefly in all three outfield spots for the Phils last season and picked up a few innings in left field earlier this season.

Kapler has talked a lot in recent days about using Kingery in center field at times. With Odubel Herrera on the disabled list with a sore hamstring for at least another nine days, it would not be surprising to see Kingery get a start at the position sometime next week. Roman Quinn seemingly will get most of the playing time in center while Herrera is out, but Kapler has indicated that Quinn will not get all the time there.

During batting practice on Thursday, Kapler reminded Kingery to keep up on his pre-game work in center field. That would seem to support the idea that Kingery will get a look there soon.

Clearly the Phillies want to see Kingery play center field because they believe his versatility is valuable and it presents a way to get his bat in the lineup while giving other players rest. (It also doesn’t hurt to have both him and Quinn putting some heat on Herrera.) But it’s also possible that the Phils want to gauge Kingery’s ability to play center field because they will have to make a roster move when Herrera is ready to return. One possibility is trading Aaron Altherr. If he goes, the Phillies would lose some center field depth.

Kingery made significant strides defensively at shortstop last season. Kapler believes he has the same potential for growth in center field.

“I think I can comfortably say that he will go out in center field and immediately play average to above average center field simply because of his athleticism and speed,” Kapler said.

Kingery entered Friday night hitting .414 (12 for 29) with four doubles, two homers and a 1.227 OPS. As a rookie last year, Kingery hit just .226 with a .605 OPS. He has credited his improvement to gaining experience, taking some of the lift out of his swing — in his words, “flattening” it — and being more aggressive early in the count.

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