PHOENIX (AP) — Vince Velasquez has had a week to remember. Last Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies right-hander threw out a runner at home plate in the 14th inning to become the first major league pitcher to record an outfield assist in a game since 1950.
He returned to his normal job Monday and did it well, allowing two runs in a season-high seven innings to lead the Phillies to a 7-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“He kind of carried some of the confidence from the outfield play to tonight,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “He likes being known as the best athlete on the field and he looked like it tonight.”
Velasquez (4-6) gave up six hits, struck out three and got help from a running catch in left field by Adam Haseley with a runner on and two outs in the seventh, taking a hit away from Arizona’s Carson Kelly.
“I got the ground balls that I needed to. I made the adjustments mid-game,” Velasquez said. “Got the pop-ups I needed to. Still challenged guys with fastballs even though it wasn’t as high as I was trying to aim for.”
Scott Kingery homered and Jean Segura drove in two runs for the Phillies, who maintained their hold on a wild-card spot in the National League. The Diamondbacks dropped to 3 1/2 games off the pace in what is a key three-game series for both contenders.
David Peralta had two hits and drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks. Starter Merrill Kelly (7-12) gave up three earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts in six innings, and is 0-6 in his last nine starts.
Ketel Marte led off the bottom of the first with a triple and came home on Peralta’s grounder. The Phillies tied it at 1 on Phoenix native Kingery’s 14th home run of the season in the second.
Philadelphia went ahead for good with two runs in the third inning. Rhys Hoskins reached on catcher’s interference and later scored on J.T. Realmuto’s double.
Segura followed with a shallow fly ball to center field on which Marte broke late and couldn’t catch, allowing Bryce Harper to score to make it 3-1.
“We’re never out of it,” Harper said after a two-hit night. “We have two months left and we just have to keep winning games and not worry about anybody else around us.”
Eduardo Escobar’s sacrifice fly drove in Kelly and made it a one-run game in the bottom of the third. But the Diamondbacks got no closer.
The Phillies took a 7-3 lead following single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. The latter two runs came in after two throwing errors, a walk, stolen base and wild pitch.
“An uncharacteristic game for us,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We didn’t play the type of defense, make the plays we are used to seeing us make and it ended up costing us in a couple situations.”
GODLEY DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT
The goodbyes and well-wishes pitcher Zack Godley exchanged with his Diamondbacks teammates in the clubhouse after Sunday’s game turned out be the product of the club’s decision to designate the right-hander for assignment on Monday.
Godley, 29, is 3-5 with two saves and a 6.39 ERA in 27 games (nine starts) this season. In five seasons with Arizona he is 36-30 with a 4.70 ERA in 122 games.
Right-hander Taylor Clarke was optioned to Triple-A Reno after pitching 5 2/3 innings in his start on Sunday. Clarke was 4-3 with a 5.46 ERA. The Diamondbacks called up pitchers Robby Scott and Kevin Ginkel from Reno.
Scott made his Diamondbacks debut Monday and Ginkel his major league debut, both pitching in the seventh inning. Scott was charged with a run after Ginkel relieved him, got his first career strikeout and gave up a single to Segura.
Ginkel also allowed a run in two-thirds of an inning.
Diamondbacks: 3B Jake Lamb took a hard fall trying to get to Kingery’s double down the line in the sixth inning and was attended to by a trainer, but stayed in the game until being lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth.
Phillies: RHP Jake Arrieta (8-8, 4.44 ERA) is scheduled to face the Diamondbacks. He’s 5-3 in 10 starts with a 2.43 ERA in his career against Arizona.
Diamondbacks: RHP Mike Leake (9-8, 4.27) is set for his Diamondbacks debut after coming over in a trade with the Seattle Mariners on July 31. Wearing the No. 8, he’s the first D-backs pitcher with a single-digit uniform number.
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