Velasquez takes no-hitter into 7th, Phils beat Rockies 9-3
AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA — When Vince Velasquez is calm and composed, he’s tough to beat.
Velasquez took a no-hitter two outs into the seventh inning, Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams hit solo homers, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 9-3 Thursday.
Trevor Story lined Velasquez’s 105th pitch — a curve — to left for an RBI double, ending Velasquez’s bid for the fourth no-hitter in the majors this season.
“That was as confident as I’ve ever seen him,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “His demeanor was calm and relaxed.”
Velasquez (5-7) got a standing ovation as he walked off the mound after the hit. The hard-throwing righty looked nothing like the pitcher who allowed 10 runs against the Brewers last Friday. He dominated the Rockies, giving up one hit and two runs with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
“I was comfortable all the way through,” he said. “I just wanted to have a solid bounce-back.”
Velasquez retired 20 of the first 21 batters. He walked Gerardo Parra in the second and picked him off. Velasquez walked Carlos Gonzalez before Story’s double. Tommy Hunter entered and allowed an RBI single to Parra to cut Philadelphia’s lead to one run before getting the final out of the inning.
“That can be him every time out. He has that stuff,” Hoskins said of Velasquez.
The Phillies won a series for the first time since taking two of three from Atlanta on May 21-23. They’re 7-12 since.
Colorado has lost 10 of 13.
Rockies starter German Marquez (4-7) gave up six runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. Rockies manager Bud Black finally pulled Marquez with the bases loaded after 112 pitches.
“It’s a shame that Marquez got tagged with as many runs that he did,” Black said. “He threw the ball pretty well.”
Hoskins drove a first-pitch fastball into the left-field seats to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the first. It was his eighth homer and second since returning last Saturday from a fractured jaw.
Williams lined his eighth homer out to right in the second for a 2-0 lead. He hit an opposite-field RBI double to left on an 0-2 pitch in the sixth to make it 3-0.
After the Rockies cut it to 3-2, the Phillies broke open the game with four runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Hoskins had an RBI double and Odubel Herrera and Carlos Santana followed with run-scoring singles. Hoskins added an RBI single in the eighth, finishing a triple shy of the cycle.
ROOKIE GOES DEEP
Colorado’s Ryan McMahon hit his first major league home run in the eighth off reliever Hector Neris.
Story drove in his 50th run in his 68th game. He leads the NL in RBIs. Since June 1, Story is batting .388 (19-49) with seven doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs.
Jim Thome, who will enter the Hall of Fame in July, was honored before the game on the 14th anniversary of hitting his 400th homer in the first season of Citizens Bank Park.
OWNING THE SERIES
The Phillies are 44-25 against the Rockies since 2008.
The Phillies had 13 hits, most since 13 on April 13 at Tampa Bay. Five players had multi-hit games.
Rockies: Reliever Adam Ottavino (oblique) was activated from the 10-day disabled list. Lefty Jerry Vasto was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Phillies: Reliever Pat Neshek (shoulder, forearm) and righty Jerad Eickhoff (numbness in fingers) were scheduled to throw bullpen sessions.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (4-1, 4.40 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Texas. LHP Yohander Mendez starts for the Rangers.
Phillies: RHP Jake Arrieta (5-4, 2.97 ERA) makes his second start against the Brewers in six days. Arrieta allowed five runs — four earned — in 5 1/3 innings in a 12-3 loss last Saturday.
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