ST. LOUIS - Vince Velasquez was hit hard as the Phillies continued to have their problems in Busch Stadium on Monday night.
Velasquez failed to record an out in the fifth inning and was tagged for three home runs in a 6-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Phillies are just 3-12 in their last 15 games in the Cardinals' home ballpark.
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St. Louis snapped a four-game losing streak with the win. The Cardinals are 21-14.
The Phillies are 19-15, still tops in the NL East.
• Velasquez faced his usual nemesis: The high pitch count. He threw 25 pitches in the first inning and it was up to 86 through four. He walked five batters, one intentionally. He walked Jose Martinez with one out in the fourth. Yadier Molina then fouled off four pitches before hitting the seventh one of the at-bat over the wall in left-center for a two-run homer. That was the first hit Velasquez allowed, but they came quickly after that. He came out for the fifth and was tagged for a solo homer, a single and a two-run homer before his night ended at 98 pitches.
• The more pitches that opposing hitters see from Velasquez, the better they get. That ineffective fifth inning left Velasquez with some poor totals when facing an opposing hitter for the third time in a game this season: Opposing hitters are 10 for 18 with two doubles, four homers and two walks in those situations.
• Velasquez did not lose this game by himself. The Phillies' offense produced just five singles (and no walks) on the night and St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas faced the minimum through 5 2/3 innings.
Mikolas finished with seven shutout innings and walked none. Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto both hit a couple of balls very hard against Mikolas. Both line drives were caught in the infield.
More on Velasquez
He allowed only four hits, but three of them landed over the wall. He has given up eight runs over 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts.
Two of the homers that Velasquez allowed (to Molina and Paul DeJong) came on fastballs with two strikes on the hitter. Molina hit a 2-2 fastball that registered 95 mph. DeJong hit a 1-2 fastball that was 96 mph. Clearly, Velasquez had trouble putting hitters away.
Edgar Garcia, a 22-year-old right-hander, was called up from Triple A before the game. He made his big-league debut in the fifth (see story).
The Phillies will see if they can get some offense going behind Aaron Nola (2-0, 5.06) on Tuesday night. Right-hander Dakota Hudson (2-2, 4.80) starts for the Cardinals.
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