Phillies miss out, can't pick up Nola in Pittsburgh

Phillies miss out, can't pick up Nola in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- With two hit batsmen, three walks and five stolen bases allowed in three-plus innings, it's safe to say Pirates rookie Tyler Glasnow struggled in his home debut. The Bucs' offense compensated, erupting for a five-run fifth inning and holding on to beat the Phillies, 7-4, on Saturday.

Down, 3-2, in the fifth inning, a single by Jordy Mercer and back-to-back Aaron Nola walks to pinch-hitter Matt Joyce and John Jaso loaded the bases. Gregory Polanco delivered a go-ahead two-run single, David Freese followed with a two-run single of his own, and a sacrifice fly by catcher Francisco Cervelli made it 7-3.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

Chris Adamski is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Pirates on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rupp hit in head by pitch, but dodges serious injury

Rupp hit in head by pitch, but dodges serious injury

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp left in the third inning of Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Pirates after being hit in the head by a pitch, but manager Pete Mackanin said it appears Rupp hasn't sustained any significant injury.

Pirates rookie Tyler Glasnow hit Rupp with a 91-mph fastball toward the back of his batting helmet. Rupp's helmet came off as he crumpled to the ground, but he was able to walk off the field.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies swipe 5 early bases, but can't steal runs

Phillies swipe 5 early bases, but can't steal runs

PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies had the bases loaded in the third inning Saturday. They were stealing bases left and right off rookie pitcher Tyler Glasnow. It was a tie game. All that was left on the to-do list was to cross home plate a few times more.

But a popout by Cody Asche and a groundout by Freddy Galvis would eventually come back to haunt them in a 7-4 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park, as would many other missed opportunities. Philadelphia pulled ahead by run in the top of the fifth, but couldn't muster up enough offense to overcome a five-run response by the Pirates, despite five stolen bases off Glasnow and Bucs catcher Francisco Cervelli through three-plus innings.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

X-rays negative, Franco day to day with sore wrist

X-rays negative, Franco day to day with sore wrist

PITTSBURGH -- After taking a pitch off his left wrist in Friday's 4-0 win against the Pirates, Maikel Franco was not in the Phillies' lineup on Saturday and is day to day with a sore wrist.

"I guess he's got some tenderness," manager Pete Mackanin said. "It's not going to hurt him to not play for a few days."

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Velasquez aims to stay hot in Pittsburgh finale

Velasquez aims to stay hot in Pittsburgh finale

The Phillies-Pirates weekend series at PNC Park has been a showcase for talented young arms. It wraps up Sunday with a matchup of two more under-25 possible future aces.

Pittsburgh's Jameson Taillon (2-1, 3.44 ERA), a former No. 2 overall Draft pick making his seventh career start, will face Philadelphia's Vince Velasquez (8-2, 3.15), who's among the National League leaders in winning percentage during his first full season in the Majors.

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Chris Adamski is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Pirates on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eflin pitches CG, Rupp drives in 3 in win

Eflin pitches CG, Rupp drives in 3 in win

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates got a solid performance out of their ace on Friday night at PNC Park, but Phillies rookie Zach Eflin answered with a gem of his own, throwing his first career shutout in a 4-0 win over Gerrit Cole at PNC Park.

Eflin efficiently mowed down the Pirates' lineup, needing only 100 pitches to get through his second complete game in his last four starts, a three-hit masterpiece in which he outdueled Cole. He benefitted from some impressive outfield defense by center fielder Odubel Herrera and right fielder Peter Bourjos, but he also induced eight groundouts and struck out six batters without a walk. He faced 29 batters, two more than the minimum, and retired 20 of the Pirates' last 21 hitters.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Phillies on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies designate Stumpf, recall Gonzalez

Phillies designate Stumpf, recall Gonzalez

PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies designated lefty Daniel Stumpf for assignment and called up right-hander Severino Gonzalez prior to Friday's 4-0 win over the Pirates at PNC Park.

Stumpf had recently returned from an 80-game suspension for testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing drug. In five innings this season, Stumpf allowed six runs for a 10.80 ERA. The Phillies took Stumpf from Kansas City in the Rule 5 Draft in December, so he would have to clear waivers before he can be placed in Philadelphia's Minor Leagues.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mentally tough Eflin dominating since debut

Rookie became 4th-fastest pitcher with CG SO on 100 pitches

Mentally tough Eflin dominating since debut

PITTSBURGH -- Phillies rookie right-hander Zach Eflin's first Major League shutout took a few decisions off Pete Mackanin's hands. Mackanin sat in the visiting manager's office chair, looking relaxed after Eflin's 100-pitch three-hitter helped the Phillies to a 4-0 win on Friday at PNC Park.

"A good manager knows how to use the bullpen," Mackanin said.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoskins, Pujols among top prospect performers Friday

Mariners slugger makes immediate impact with new team; top Twins prospect fires eight strong

Hoskins, Pujols among top prospect performers Friday

Dan Vogelbach sure knows how to make an introduction. Playing in his first game with Triple-A Tacoma since being traded from the Cubs to the Mariners on Wednesday, Seattle's new No. 15 prospect went 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

The 23-year-old wasted no time showing off his power stroke, hitting his 17th homer of the season in his first at-bat with Tacoma. After hitting that solo blast to right field in the second inning, Vogelbach followed up with an RBI double to left in the third.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies stumbling out of second-half gate

Optimistic at break, club has lost five of seven and resides nine back in Wild Card race

Phillies stumbling out of second-half gate

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' high hopes for the second half have suffered a setback.

They exited the All-Star break believing they could make a long-shot run at a National League Wild Card. Why not, they said? But after the Phillies managed just three hits and Jerad Eickhoff struggled Thursday night in a 9-3 loss to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, they have lost five of seven games since the break to fall to 44-53 and nine games behind the Marlins for the second Wild Card.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pair of homers no match for relentless Marlins

Pair of homers no match for relentless Marlins

PHILADELPHIA -- The Marlins are bringing plenty of confidence into a big series this weekend at home against the Mets.

They beat the Phillies on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park, 9-3, to win three games in the four-game series. After opening the second half of the season by going 5-2 on a seven-game road trip, Miami has moved within 4 1/2 games of the Nationals in the National League East, while maintaining a 1 1/2-game lead over the Mets for the second NL Wild Card.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Marlins on Thursday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Klentak: Phils active, open-minded in market

Club popular with several potential trade chips, but not under pressure to make a deal

Klentak: Phils active, open-minded in market

PHILADELPHIA -- General manager Matt Klentak said the Phillies have been "very active" with trade discussions over the past few days. That is not surprising, because they have a host of players who could help a contender.

The list begins with Jeremy Hellickson, Peter Bourjos and Jeanmar Gomez. Of course, Klentak acknowledged that many of the Phillies' conversations have led nowhere. But while he said Thursday that he would not handicap the chances of a trade before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, it would be very surprising if the Phillies remained status quo.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies UYA facility named after Howard

'Extreme honor' for slugger to be recognized for giving back to community

Phillies UYA facility named after Howard

PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard's baseball future beyond this season is unclear. His physical presence in the only city he's called home during his exemplary career is not.

The new Phillies Urban Youth Academy was formally unveiled Thursday, and it was announced that the facility will be called the Ryan Howard Training Center. The first baseman won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2005 and the NL Most Valuable Player Award in '06, when he hit 58 home runs to establish the franchise's single-season record.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoskins among top prospect performers Thursday

Marlins prospect continues to sizzle on mound; Padres' No. 4 keeps on slugging

Hoskins among top prospect performers Thursday

It's been a stellar month for Marlins No. 24 prospect Jeff Brigham. Pitching for Class A Advanced Jupiter, Brigham has yet to yield an earned run in July, lowering his ERA from 5.28 to 3.87 in just four starts (21 2/3 innings).

The 24-year-old righty turned in yet another impressive performance Thursday, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out a season-best 10 batters. Brigham limited the Dunedin Blue Jays to four hits and one walk as the Hammerheads secured a 1-0 victory at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies vendor balances popcorn on her head

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Phillies vendor balances popcorn on her head

If you're a vendor at a Major League ballpark -- walking up stairs and through narrow aisles (all whie trying to avoid getting hit in unfortunate places by baseballs) -- the best place to carry your pack is probably around your waist. Maybe with a strap or two to lighten the burden on your arms.

... OR ...

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Phillies ride Hellickson, Goeddel to victory

Phillies ride Hellickson, Goeddel to victory

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson gave contending teams plenty to think about in a 4-1 victory over the Marlins on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Hellickson (7-7, 3.84 ERA), who is a strong candidate to be traded before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts in eight innings. He has a 2.54 ERA in his last six starts, so he is pitching well at the right time with just two more starts scheduled before the deadline.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Marlins on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goeddel has career day in return to lineup

Goeddel has career day in return to lineup

PHILADELPHIA -- Tyler Goeddel should be used to the infrequent playing time. It has been his story this season as a Rule 5 Draft pick.

In fact, Goeddel stepped into the batter's box in the first inning on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park having not seen a pitch in a game since July 10 in Colorado. But he ripped the second pitch he saw from Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen for a two-run homer to right field in a 4-1 victory.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hellickson boosts value in dominating start

Hellickson boosts value in dominating start

PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Hellickson is scheduled to make two more starts before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

But if Hellickson made his final one with the Phillies on Wednesday night in a 4-1 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park, it was a good one. He allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts in eight innings, improving to 3-2 with a 2.54 ERA in his last six starts.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Thompson among top prospect performers Wednesday

Pair of Dodgers pitching prospects each rack up double-digit K's in strong starts

Thompson among top prospect performers Wednesday

Ten was the magic number for a pair of Dodgers pitchers on Wednesday night as both Jose De Leon and Yadier Alvarez struck out 10 hitters in their respective starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Class A Great Lakes.

De Leon, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect and No. 20 on the Top 100, yielded four hits over a career-high eight scoreless innings to pace Oklahoma City in a 7-0 shutout of Tacoma. The 23-year-old right-hander hit one batter but did not issue a walk in the outing, as he demonstrated exemplary command of his arsenal by throwing 80 of his 105 pitches for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Velasquez strong, Joseph homers in loss

Velasquez strong, Joseph homers in loss

PHILADELPHIA -- The Marlins are applying a little pressure to the Nationals in the National League East.

Miami beat the Phillies, 2-1, in 10 innings on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park to move within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Nationals. Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria doubled against Phillies right-hander David Hernandez to start the 10th. Christian Yelich then ripped a two-out single to left field against left-hander Daniel Stumpf to score the go-ahead run.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Marlins on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hot-hitting Joseph bolstering shot with Phils

Hot-hitting Joseph bolstering shot with Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph has heard that these final couple of months are huge for him. He has a chance to earn a job in 2017 with a strong finish in 2016.

Joseph continued to strengthen his case Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss in 10 innings to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. He went 2-for-3, crushing a game-tying home run into the second deck in left field in the fourth. He is hitting .500 (14-for-28) with two doubles, five home runs and eight RBIs in his last nine games.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rested Velasquez returns to form following break

Rested Velasquez returns to form following break

PHILADELPHIA -- Vince Velasquez spent the All-Star break relaxing and hanging out with his nephews in California. He returned to Philadelphia last week feeling refreshed.

Velasquez pitched like it Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss in 10 innings to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Velasquez, who battled "dead arm" before the break, struck out Giancarlo Stanton on a 97-mph fastball in the first inning. He allowed just one run on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings, which was his longest outing since he struck out 16 in a shutout against the Padres on April 14.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

You're probably better at Pokemon Go than the Phillie Phanatic

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You're probably better at Pokemon Go than the Phillie Phanatic

In a list of the best places in Philadelphia to find Pokemon in Pokemon Go -- you know, the second most popular game this summer after Shirseymon Go -- Citizens Bank Park was conspicuously absent. So, during the Phillies' 2-1 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday, the Phanatic set out to prove that CBP is just as filled with those desirable pocket monsters as Independence Hall.

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Could Gomez be on the trade block?

Could Gomez be on the trade block?

PHILADELPHIA -- There are a few teams looking for bullpen help as the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches and one reliever that could assist is Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez.

The fact Gomez is an option is surprising in itself. He entered the season as a middle reliever, capable of pitching a couple innings, often in low-stress situations, if needed. But after the bullpen struggled in a 0-4 start, the Phillies essentially elevated Gomez to closer out of desperation.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blanco named Phils' 2016 Heart and Hustle Award winner

Award recognizes passion, desire and work ethic

Blanco named Phils' 2016 Heart and Hustle Award winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) announced the 30 preliminary winners of the 2016 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday, honoring one player from each of the 30 Major League teams.

The Heart and Hustle Award, given annually, celebrates active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game. It's the only award in the Majors that is voted on by former players, and voting is conducted prior to the All-Star break.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils can't hold lead in Nola's scoreless start

Phils can't hold lead in Nola's scoreless start

PHILADELPHIA -- The Marlins continue to be one of the best stories in baseball this season.

Following Jose Fernandez's 14 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings for Miami, Marcell Ozuna knocked in the game-tying run with two outs in the ninth and Martin Prado hit the game-winning home run in the 11th to beat the Phillies on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, 3-2. The victory moved the Marlins into sole possession of the second National League Wild Card, one game ahead of the Mets.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nola regains form, tosses six scoreless frames

Nola regains form, tosses six scoreless frames

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Nola finally looked like himself again Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.

He allowed two hits, one walk and struck out five in six scoreless innings in a 3-2 loss in 11 innings to the Marlins. He threw just 68 pitches with the trademark command that made him the seventh overall pick in the 2014 Draft.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.