Phillies Win Sixth Straight
By Matt Veasey
The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon to sweep a weekend series at Citizens Bank Park.
You would have to excuse former Phillies and current Indians manager Terry Francona if he were simply sitting in front of the Cleveland press right now with no answers. His team has now gone 1-5 over their last half-dozen games, and all of those games have been one-run affairs.
The Phillies defeated the Tribe by a 2-1 score on a soggy Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park to earn a sweep of the weekend series in South Philly. With their sixth consecutive win the Phillies have moved to five games over the .500 mark on the season.
As you can tell from the score, the story once again for the Fightin’ Phils was the pitching. Vincent Velasquez made the start, and as manager Pete Mackanin said following the game, he was “effectively wild.”
Velasquez allowed just two hits over six innings. He did walk four batters, struggling with his command most of the day. However, the hits total and his six strikeouts show that he still had swing-and-miss stuff.
Cleveland starter Danny Salazar nearly matched him. Salazar went seven innings and allowed just three hits, striking out eight and walking two. However, one poor sequence in the 3rd inning did him in, with the elements also contributing.
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With one out, Salazar committed the cardinal sin of walking Velasquez, the opposition pitcher. Peter Bourjos then singled to move Velasquez over to 2nd base. Then with two outs, last night’s hero, Freddy Galvis, came through again. Galvis grounded an RBI single to right to score Velasquez with the game’s first run.
It was then that the elements came into play. Bourjos had moved around to 3rd base on the Galvis single. With Maikel Franco at the plate, Salazar went to deliver a pitch, but slipped on the wet mound during his motion without delivering a pitch. A balk was called immediately, and Bourjos trotted home with the key second Phillies run.
That run would ultimately prove to be the difference maker. Darin Ruf helped keep the Indians off the board with a super diving grab to end the 4th inning with two Indians on base.
David Hernandez came on to shut the Tribe down for two innings, striking out two while allowing just one hit, and with Jeanmar Gomez burned out, Mackanin turned to Hector Neris in the 9th to put the game away.
It was a good thing that Neris and the Phils had a two run lead, becauseCarlos Santana
drove his fourth home run of the season out over the right field fence to cut the Phillies lead in half. But Neris then bore down and got the final two outs, the last withTyler Naquin
striking out swinging.
The Phillies have now swept back-to-back series for the first time since September of 2012. They have won six straight games, eight of their last nine, and have gone 15-6 since opening the season with four straight defeats.
It’s been some fun, this unexpected three-week surge by this still developing ball club. Now the team heads out on the road for a 10-games over 11 days trip that will take them through tough Saint Louis for four games, and then three each with division rivals Miami and Atlanta.