PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies wasted little time jumping on Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura en route to a 7-2 win on Sunday that was highlighted by a three-run home run from Cameron Rupp in the first inning. Rupp blasted an opposite-field shot to bring in Peter Bourjos and Maikel Franco. The single from Bourjos three batters earlier extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest by any Phillies player this season. Franco mashed his team-leading 14th homer of the season in the eighth inning as the Phillies finished with 11 hits. Cody Asche also joined in on the home-run parade as he picked up his third home run of the season after missing the first 53 games. "That was huge to get going early especially against a ballclub like that," Rupp said. "When you get on top of a team early, it sets the momentum for your team and puts them in defensive mode." The Phillies' offense has done a complete turnaround to break out of a rut that saw them drop 11 of 13 contests from June 14-26. They have scored four or more runs in four of their last five games. "I always felt even for the first two months that we were a better hitting team than it showed and it was kind of an enigma as to why we weren't hitting better," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "It just took a little time." Asche's solo shot that sailed into the right-field second deck proved to be the final blow for Ventura. The right-hander was pulled with two outs in the third inning after putting his team into an early 4-0 hole. The Royals announced that Ventura suffered a right ankle sprain. Manager Ned Yost said it's too early to tell if he'll miss his next start. Since serving an eight-game suspension for throwing at Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado, Ventura has had back-to-back poor outings. On Tuesday, he tied his career high with seven runs allowed in 5 1/3 innings against St. Louis. He has now pitched eight innings in his last two starts, giving up 11 runs, 11 hits and three home runs. "I thought he didn't make a good pitch on the three-run home run," Yost said. "He came back out in the second inning and I thought he was better, of course that's when he twisted his ankle running the bases and then had trouble in the third inning, so we really can't tell anything from that." Ventura's counterpart, Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, showed discomfort five pitches into the game. A brief mound meeting was the only thing slowing him down. He remained in the game, proceeding to strike out two of the next four batters to escape a first-and-third jam. "My arm was just dragging a bit," Velasquez said. "Things happen. Everyone has dead arm at some point. That's the game of baseball, you have to pitch. You're not going to have your stuff every time." He settled in after that to finish the day with seven strikeouts, two walks and two runs allowed and pitched six innings for the first time since May 12. The Royals cut the deficit in half with a two-run blast from Alex Gordon in the fifth inning. Their rally wouldn't last long as the Phillies got one back in the bottom half courtesy of a dribbler down the third-base line from Franco that brought home Odubel Herrera. "We never could get anything going offensively," Yost said. "(Gordon) with a nice two-run homer but not really much after that or before that." Offensively, Kansas City was able to get one hit in seven of the nine innings, but could never string together a multiple-hit frame. Gordon was the only Royal to pick up multiple hits as Kansas City's two- and three-hole hitters combined to go 0-for-7 with five strikeouts. Alcides Escobar extended his hit streak to 14 games. NOTES: The Phillies had a four-game win streak snapped on Saturday. It was their longest such streak since a six-game run that ended on May 1. ... With Saturday's loss, the Phillies have failed to win back-to-back games at home since May 17-18. They are 5-16 at Citizen's Bank Park over that span. ... Kansas City 1B Kendrys Morales hit two home runs on Saturday, one from each side of the plate, to become the first Royals player to do so since Ben Zobrist last season. It has only happened eight times in franchise history. ... Phillies RF Peter Bourjos went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, which a career best. ... The Royals boast a 13-9 record in day games this season, going 4-1 since June 11... Kansas City starting pitcher, RHP Yordano Ventura, left the game with a left ankle sprain after being pulled with one out to go in the third inning. He surrendered four runs on four hits...The Phillies optioned RHP Dalier Hinojosa to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after activating him from the disabled list earlier in the day. He was placed on the 15-day DL with a right-hand contusion.
Phillies use early outburst to beat Royals
The Sports Xchange | Jul 3