Phillies take opener over Diamondbacks behind stellar outing from Velasquez

Vince Velasquez pitches Phillies to much needed win
Vince Velasquez tossed seven strong innings in his best start of the season to help lift the Phillies past the host Diamondbacks on Monday night in Phoenix, 7-3.

Velasquez surrendered two runs on six hits. He collected three strikeouts and walked a pair in the win.

“I made the pitches that I needed and got the ground balls that I needed," Velasquez told reporters afterward. "I got out of those jam situations. I helped myself. Did I prove something? Yeah, I did. It shows that I can do it and that I can go deep into games. I can build on this.”

Given the questions surrounding the Phillies rotation, the club needs Velasquez do just that - to build off this quality start and carry some momentum through the final two months of the season.

A key moment of the game came in the fifth when, with runners on first and second and no outs, Velasquez fielded a bunt from DBacks hurler Merrill Kelly and fired to third to record an out. Scott Kingery then made a quality throw across the diamond to complete the second end of a double play. It was a pivotal play that could have given Arizona a spark if it went wrong.

At the plate, Kingery finished 2-for-5 with a homer while Jean Segura chipped in with a pair of RBIs.

Hector Neris, back from serving a suspension, tossed a clean ninth inning and collected a strikeout.

It was a quality win for the Phillies over a team that's on their tail in the Wild Card race. The two clubs resume their three-game set on Tuesday with Jake Arrieta set to face Mike Leake who will be making his debut with Arizona after being acquired from Seattle at the trade deadline.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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