Phillies ride momentum into series opener vs. Yankees

MLB

The Philadelphia Phillies bid for their third consecutive victory on Saturday when they host the New York Yankees in the opener of an abbreviated two-game series.

The Phillies have won two series in a row for the first time since they opened the season with five wins in six outings against the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets.

Philadelphia dropped a 9-5 decision to the Braves on Tuesday before rallying for consecutive walk-off victories. The Phillies benefited from a two-run homer by rookie Luke Williams in Wednesday’s 2-1 win and a two-run double in the 10th inning by Jean Segura in a 4-3 triumph the following day.

“It’s significant because the alternative was you don’t win (Thursday) and you give away a great opportunity to win another series against a team in your division,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “To me, it’s great. We get an off day, the guys can enjoy it a little bit and then we get back to work on Saturday.”

The Phillies’ offense had been quite inconsistent, which made the results even more surprising in the two walk-off wins.

Now they’ll try to keep that positive momentum going against the Yankees.

“All year long, we haven’t had those types of games,” Segura said. “I think the walk-off (Wednesday) was huge. It gave us momentum to play a little bit better. To be able to win this one (Thursday), to come from behind, especially when we gave it up in the 10th, that’s huge. That tells you what type of team, and what type of ability, we have to play this game. I think if we keep it together like that, I think this team could be really, really good.”

Vince Velasquez (2-1, 4.33 ERA) will make his ninth start this season for the Phillies on Saturday. Velasquez has struggled in his last two starts, surrendering nine runs on as many hits in seven innings.

Velasquez owns an 0-1 record with a 3.14 ERA in three games (two starts).

The Yankees will look to rebound after a difficult 7-5 loss on the road to the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

Closer Aroldis Chapman allowed two home runs for his second blown save in 14 opportunities.

“The last couple of outings, I’ve been a little passive, especially the first couple of hitters of the inning,” Chapman said. “It was just a bad night (on Thursday).”

Despite the defeat, the Yankees’ high-powered offense still managed to post 22 runs in the three-game series against the Twins. Giancarlo Stanton belted three home runs in the last two games.

Gio Urshela, who also homered Thursday, has hit safely in every game in June.

“I’m feeling good,” Urshela said. “I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball really well. I’m just trying to keep it that way; trying to keep working every day and try to help my team. That’s the most important thing for me.”

The tough loss doesn’t appear to have fazed the Yankees.

“That would’ve been great to get the sweep here, especially leading the whole game,” Stanton said. “Offensively, we’ve got to feed off of this and see how we grinded out at-bats, just putting pressure on the guys on the mound. I think we did a great job of that this series. We’ve just got to continue that.”

The Yankees will send Jameson Taillon (1-4, 5.09) to the mound for his 12th start of the season. Taillon owns a 1-2 record with a 5.12 ERA in four career starts versus the Phillies.

–Field Level Media

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