Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon, center, is greeted at the plate by Whit Merrifield, left, and Drew Butera, right, after hitting a two-run homer during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, July 3, 2016 in Philadel
Tom Mihalek
July 03, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Vince Velasquez just needed a few pitches to get going.

Cameron Rupp hit a three-run homer, Velasquez threw six effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals 7-2 Sunday.

Cody Asche and Maikel Franco also went deep to help the Phillies win two of three against the defending World Series champions.

Velasquez (7-2) allowed two runs and five hits, striking out seven in his second start since returning from the disabled list. It appeared Velasquez was hurt in the first inning when manager Pete Mackanin and a trainer visited the mound after he threw just five pitches. But Velasquez stayed in, his velocity increased and he threw 96 pitches.

''It took me a little bit longer to warm up,'' Velasquez said. ''Just dragging a little bit. Everyone has dead arm at some point. You have to pitch through it and utilize all your pitches.''

Mackanin went out to see Velasquez because his hardest pitch was only 90 mph among the first five. Velasquez was removed from the game after throwing only two pitches on June 8 and missed almost three weeks because of a strained right biceps.

''We thought: `Oh-no, not again.' But He assured us he was fine,'' Mackanin said. ''He didn't have his above-average velocity, but he made his secondary pitches.''

Royals starter Yordano Ventura (6-6) exited in the third inning after spraining his right ankle running the bases following his second career hit. Ventura lined a single to right but got hurt running to second on Alex Gordon's double-play grounder.

Ventura went out to the mound in the bottom half and left after Asche hit a shot into the second deck in right field with two outs.

''It feels better now,'' Ventura said through an interpreter. ''It'll be a couple days before we know.''

Rupp gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the first when he hit a 1-2 pitch the opposite way into the right-field seats for his eighth homer.

''It was 98 mph so he supplied the power,'' Rupp said. ''He left the pitch up and over the plate.''

Gordon's two-run homer off Velasquez cut it to 4-2 in the fifth. Maikel Franco's infield single drove in a run in the bottom half. He hit a solo homer off Brian Flynn in the eighth.

''Nice to see homers from the middle of the lineup,'' Mackanin said. ''All of our runs came with two outs and that's encouraging.''


The Royals fell to 43-38 with their 13th loss in their last 18 road games. The Phillies (37-46) have won five of six.


Each of Philadelphia's starters except Velasquez had a hit. ''It only takes one or two guys to get going,'' Mackanin said. ''I always thought we're a better hitting team than we showed.''


The Phillies won their first series in Philadelphia since May 16-18.


Royals SS Alcides Escobar hit a single in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. ... Phillies OF Peter Bourjos extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He's 21 for 47 in those games, raising his average to .268 from .217. ... Kansas City's Kendrys Morales was 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts, ending his eight-game hitting streak.


Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez (7-7, 4.60 ERA) pitches the opener of a three-game series at Toronto. RHP Aaron Sanchez (8-1, 3.08) goes for the Blue Jays.

Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (5-9, 3.38) starts the opener of a three-game series against Atlanta. RHP Joel De La Cruz (0-1, 4.50) pitches for the Braves.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)