Phils down Cards

Ve­lasquez, HRs key 6-2 vic­tory over St. Louis

The Republican Herald - - SPORT - BY MATT BREEN the phiLAdeL­phiA inquirer And dAiLy news

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.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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