The test got a little harder for the Phillies on Tuesday and they did not fare well. They were beaten, 8-4, by the Arizona Diamondbacks on a rainy night in South Philadelphia.
Complete coverage of the Fightin' Phils and their MLB rivals from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Diamondbacks hit three home runs. Phillies hitters struck out 16 times, four by rookie Scott Kingery. It was the 15th time they've reached double digits in strikeouts in 22 games this season.
The game was played in a not-so-swift three hours, 49 minutes.
The Phillies entered the game with the fifth-best record in the majors after posting a four-game sweep of Pittsburgh. Arizona, meanwhile, had the second-best record in the majors. The Phils fell to 14-8 with the loss while Arizona improved to 16-6.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez's string of three straight quality starts ended as he went just 4 2/3 innings.
Velasquez struck out four of the first six batters he faced then allowed back-to-back homers to open the third. His mates got him the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third but he ran into trouble in the fifth inning and was touched for a pair or runs after the first three batters reached on a walk, a single and another walk. David Peralta's double brought home two runs for Arizona. Velasquez threw 36 pitches in the inning and got just two outs.
Arizona starter Robbie Ray had the stuff to strike out 11 in 4 2/3 innings. But he threw 107 pitches and got an early hook.
Victor Arano's scoreless innings streak ended when he gave up an RBI single in the sixth as Arizona went up 5-3. Arano had not allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings this season.
The Phillies shaved a run off the Arizona lead in the bottom of the inning on a two-out hit by Cesar Hernandez.
The Diamondbacks put the game away on a two-run homer by Daniel Descalso in the eighth. The home run capped a three-run inning against Phillies reliever Yacksel Rios.
• Odubel Herrera did not start as manager Gabe Kapler parlayed Monday's off day in the schedule into an extra day of rest for Herrera.
"This gets him back-to-back days of full recovery and tissue repair," Kapler said. "Then Odubel will get right back in there and play a long stretch of games."
Herrera entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and was hit by a pitch. He has reached base in 24 straight games, dating to last season.
• Jorge Alfaro struck out three times. Twenty-four of his 52 plate appearances have ended in a strikeout this season.
• The rookie Kingery got the start in right field. He struck out four times and is 2 for his last 25 with 12 strikeouts.