Phils down Cards
Velasquez, HRs key 6-2 victory over St. Louis
ST. LOUIS — Philadelphia Phillies manager Gabe Kapler walked to the mound Thursday night as Busch Stadium started to come alive. The Phillies, clinging to a one-run lead, were suddenly on the ropes. And the manager called on his youngest arm to bail them out.
Seranthony Dominguez needed just eight pitches in the seventh inning to retire two batters and strand two runners, and the Phillies went on to 6-2 win over the Cardinals. It was the 23-yearold’s introduction to majorleague pressure after being promoted from Triple-A earlier this month.
This was high leverage. Dominguez did not blink.
The tension was created when Vince Velasquez, who pitched terrifically, “allowed” a double to Matt Carpenter. The hit seemed like a routine flyout to left field before confusion overcame Rhys Hoskins and Odubel Herrera. Herrera raced over from center and appeared to call off Hoskins, who dropped to his knees at the last minute to get out of the way. The ball dropped, the Cardinals had runners on second and third, and Kapler walked to the mound.
Velasquez did not allow a run in 6.1 innings as he struck out five and walked two. He allowed just five hits and dominated with his fastball, which touched 98 mph.
Velasquez has made an effort to slow himself down and find his rhythm as he channels his aggressiveness. Thursday night he commanded the mound with a patient presence. He has allowed four earned runs over his last 17.1 innings. Velasquez may have turned a corner.
That tension Dominguez faced was alleviated shortly afterward when Aaron Altherr drove in two runs in the eighth with a bases-loaded single. Herrera followed with an RBI double to right and the Phillies suddenly had a 4-0 lead.
Herrera reached base three times, extending his onbase streak to 43 consecutive games, dating back to last season. He is one game shy of tying Chuck Klein’s mark from 1931, which is the fourth-longest in Phillies history. He left nothing to chance as he slid headfirst in the seventh to reach on an
infield single, flopping across the bag to beat the throw.
The eighth-inning rally proved crucial when Yacksel Rios walked the leadoff batter to bring Luis Garcia in from the bullpen. Garcia allowed a single and hit a batter before allowing two runs to score. The lead was cut to two, but the Phillies quickly built it back behind a tworun homer from Pedro Florimon, who hit his first major-league homer since Sept. 27, 2013.
The run Dominguez was called on to protect came in the fifth on a homer by Carlos Santana. It was Santana’s eighth homer of the season and his sixth in his last 11 games. Santana’s torrid month continues as he pulls himself out of the funk that marred his April.
The Phillies do not have a closer and Kapler has no plans to give a pitcher that title. He has shed any type of bullpen roles, instead using his relievers where he best sees fit on a particular night. Thursday’s pivotal situation — runners on second and third with one out and a onerun lead — called for Dominguez.
The right-hander became a relief pitcher three months ago. He blitzed through the minor leagues and needed just 11 appearances this season before the Phillies saw enough to promote him. Thursday was his 10th day in the big leagues and just his fifth time on a major-league mound. But it was hard to tell. He forced a groundout and a flyout and walked to the dugout with a one-run lead protected and a ballpark silenced.
Pirates 5, Padres 4
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gregory Polanco led off the seventh inning with a double and scored the go-ahead run on an error, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over the San Diego Padres for their eighth win in nine games.
Polanco took third on Francisco Cervelli’s deep fly ball, then came home when rookie third baseman Christian Villanueva misplayed Corey Dickerson’s two-out grounder.
Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell and Sean Rodriguez each had two hits for the NL Central-leading Pirates.
Eric Hosmer drove in three runs for San Diego. Freddy Galvis had two hits before being ejected by home plate umpire Will Little after taking a called third strike from Michael Feliz to end the eighth inning.
The Pirates plan to recall top outfield prospect Austin Meadows from Triple-A Indianapolis in time for tonight’s game against the Padres. The announcement came while center fielder Starling Marte missed his second straight game with a strained right oblique.
Meadows, 23, is hitting .281 with one home run, 15 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 31 games. The Pirates selected him in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft with the ninth overall pick from Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia.
Dodgers 7, marlins 0
MIAMI (AP) — Justin Turner tied a career high with five RBIs and Kenta Maeda pitched eight sharp innings to help the Los Angeles Dodgers snap a six-game losing streak by beating the Miami Marlins.
Turner, who broke his left wrist in spring training and made his season debut Tuesday, hit a three-run double for the Dodgers’ first hit in the third inning. He added a tworun double in the fourth and also singled in finishing 6-for13 in the series (.462).
Cubs-braves get postponed by rain
ATLANTA (AP) — The final game of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves was postponed because of rain. The game will be made up Aug. 30.
american league red sox 6, orioles 2
BOSTON (AP) — David Price took a shutout into the ninth inning and held Baltimore to five hits in his first complete game this season, leading the Boston Red Sox past the Orioles.
J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.
Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season.
athletics 10, blue jays 5
TORONTO (AP) — Matt Olson hit a three-run home run and Khris Davis and Matt Chapman added tworun shots as the Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays.
Davis went 4-for-4 and scored three times as Oakland won for the second time in its past 13 games north of the border.
Davis singled in the first, homered in the third, singled and scored in the fifth, came around to score after being hit by a pitch in the sixth, and singled in the eighth.
Yanks spend night at airport after plane delayed
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Baby Bombers were grounded.
The New York Yankees spent Wednesday night at Dulles International Airport in suburban Virginia, stuck after their matchup against the Washington Nationals was rained out.
Bad weather and a plane problem left the Yankees stranded at the airport. With hotel space limited in the area and the late hour, some of the players spent the evening sleeping on the jet while a few stretched out in the terminal.
About 12 hours after they first boarded at Dulles, the Yankees took off for Kansas City shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday. Luckily for the team, it had a day off — New York begins a series today at the Royals.
Florida state league jackhammers 5 miracle 2
JUPITER, Fla. — Pottsville High graduate Travis Blankenhorn went 0-for-3 with a run scored for Fort Myers in a loss to Jupiter.
Blankenhorn, who batted fifth and played second base, is hitting .248 with six home runs and 20 RBIs this season.
Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera reaches out and catches a fly ball hit by St. Louis’ Paul DeJong for an out during the sixth inning of Thursday’s game.