With the Phillies looking for help of any kind, the outing by Vincent Velasquez Wednesday night with Reading is an encouraging sign. Velasquez left a start June 8th after just two pitches with what was later termed a biceps strain and he was later placed on the DL.
Pitching for Reading, Velasquez went five innings, allowing two hits, one walk and striking out three while giving up one earned run. He threw 76 pitches, 51 of which were for strikes, in his first rehab start. The Phillies will evaluate Velasquez Thursday and determine whether they will give him another rehab start, possibly Monday when Lehigh Valley returns home, or whether they'll activate him and plug him into the starting rotation at the major league level.
Mark Leiter relieved Velasquez and threw four hitless, shutout innings, but he did walk three batters, striking out two. Leiter got the save, his first of the season and just the second of his professional career.
Rhys Hoskins (18) and Jake Fox (12) both homered in the win for Reading, as they snapped a three-game slide with a 4-1 win over Akron. The Fightins are now 50-22 on the season and hold a 6.5 game lead in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League.
Meanwhile, Velasquez' replacement in the Phillies rotation, Adam Morgan allowed four earned runs - five total - over five innings of work as the Twins beat the Phillies 6-5, sending Philadelphia to their ninth straight loss. Morgan allowed 11 hits and one walk, while striking out three batters. His season ERA with Philadelphia now stands at 6.55 in 11 starts. The loss went to David Hernandez (1-2), who allowed the go-ahead run on two hits and a walk in the bottom of the seventh. Hector Neris and Andrew Bailey threw shutout innings in relief of Morgan.
Andres Blanco had three hits, including his third home run of the season for the Phillies, and Cameron Rupp added his second home run in as many nights, giving him six on the season. Blanco also scored two runs and drove in two for Philadelphia, as he continues to gain more playing time at second base, in place of the slumping Cesar Hernandez.
Lehigh Valley 2
WP: Colton Murray (1-1), LP: Pedro Beato (3-3), SV: Edward Mujica (17)
HR: LV - none; NOR - Mike Yastrzemski (5)
J.P. Crawford drove in the winning run in the top of the ninth.
Ben Lively - 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (no decision)
WP: John Richy (2-2), LP: Tyler Alexander (5-5), SV: none
HR: LKL - none; CLW - Derek Campbell (2), Zach Green (8)
Campbell was 3-for-3 with four runs scored, Carlos Tocci 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI.
Lakewood was off for the SAL All-Star Break. The play at Greenville Thursday night.
Mahoning Valley 0
Williamsport 1 (13)
WP: Geury Ortiz (1-1), LP: Ryan Perez (0-1), SV: none
Luke Maglich with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th to drive in Rodolfo Duran for Williamsport.
SP Adonis Medina - 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K to give him 12 2/3 shutout innings.
RHP Phil Klein added to the roster.
LHP Anthony Vasquez reassigned to Reading.
OF Samuel Hiciano released by Philadelphia.
OF Herlis Rodriguez activated from the DL.
2B Drew Stankiewicz activated from the DL.