Phils see signs of life from Herrera vs. Rockies

Outfielder goes 2-for-4, posts his first extra-base hit in 40 at-bats

Phils see signs of life from Herrera vs. Rockies

PHILADELPHIA -- Not much has been going right for the Phillies during their nearly month-long free fall. Still, manager Pete Mackanin is determined to see the positives, and he listed them off after Tuesday night's 8-2 loss to the Rockies.

There was a home run by backup catcher Andrew Knapp, a solid relief outing from Hector Neris and signs of life from Odubel Herrera at the plate.

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Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Eflin goes 6 but Phils can't capitalize on 8 hits

Eflin goes 6 but Phils can't capitalize on 8 hits

PHILADELPHIA -- It's still early, but it's a little less early every day. With Memorial Day -- one of baseball's traditional milestones -- rapidly approaching, the Rockies hit a milestone of their own on Tuesday night.

A convincing 8-2 victory -- the Rockies' 12th in the last 17 games -- made Colorado the first 30-game winner in the National League. It's the first time in franchise history that the Rockies have been the first NL team to 30 wins.

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Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Philles Tuesday.

Ben Harris is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Rockies Tuesday.

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

Franco sits as Phillies tinker with lineup

Third baseman is slashing just .221/.281/.377 this season

Franco sits as Phillies tinker with lineup

PHILADELPHIA -- Pete Mackanin is hoping Maikel Franco will be helped by some time off. The Phillies manager is just not sure how long that time will last.

Franco was held out of the Phillies' starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Rockies, and could be benched for multiple games as he tries to shake a slow start to the 2017 season.

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Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nava placed on DL with strained hamstring

Left-hander Morgan called up to bolster bullpen depth

Nava placed on DL with strained hamstring

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies moved outfielder Daniel Nava to the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring Tuesday afternoon. Left-hander Adam Morgan replaced Nava on the active roster to bolster the bullpen.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin is hopeful that Nava, who got hurt in a win over the Pirates on Friday, will miss the minimum amount of time, but wanted to get some extra roster help in the meantime.

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Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hellickson looks to build on strong outing

Hellickson looks to build on strong outing

Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson found his missing form in his last start -- two hits in six innings against the Pirates, until lower back soreness forced him out of the game. Rockies righty Tyler Chatwood found some positives, but his form remained elusive in five inefficient innings against the Twins.

The two will hope for unqualified success Wednesday night, when they stand in mound opposition when the Phils and Rox meet in the third game of a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

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

Cozens, Pivetta lead Lehigh Valley

Cozens, Pivetta lead Lehigh Valley

After Double-A Erie was forced to use six pitchers during Monday's 14-13 loss against Harrisburg, the SeaWolves desperately needed a big performance out of starter Myles Jaye on Tuesday.

The Tigers' No. 15 prospect delivered, tossing six scoreless innings and setting a career high with 11 strikeouts before Erie walked it off in the ninth against the Senators to win, 2-1.

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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.

Phils fan makes one-handed diving catch

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Phils fan makes one-handed diving catch

We've all seen fan catches. They happen during nearly every MLB game -- some with babies in tow, some, questionably, with plates of nachos.

But during Monday's Rockies-Phillies game, there occured one of the more purely athletic grabs you'll ever see at a ballgame. Freddy Galvis hit a hard foul ball back toward the upper deck and a fan leapt across the section to make a one-handed snag.

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Eickhoff goes six, but Phils bats remain quiet

Eickhoff goes six, but Phils bats remain quiet

PHILADELPHIA -- The Rockies continued to play Monday night like the best team in the National League.

They beat the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, 8-1. Rockies No. 2 prospect Jeff Hoffman joined the team Monday to make a spot start following last week's doubleheader in Minnesota, which allowed the Rockies to put their rotation back in order on regular rest. Hoffman allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings, making it the best outing of his eight-start career. He struck out seven. Nolan Arenado capped the night with a two-run home run to left field in the ninth.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

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

Phillies Minor League review for May 15-21

Players of the Week

Player - 2B Scott Kingery, Reading… Kingery, 23, batted .300 (9-30) with a double, five home runs, six RBI, a walk, a stolen base, nine runs and a 1.117 OPS in six games. He has homered seven times in his last eight games, hitting two home runs on both May 19 and May 21. Kingery's 14 home runs are the most by any player in the minor leagues this season. In addition to leading the Eastern League in home runs, Kingery also ranks first in slugging percentage (.665), extra-base hits (26), total bases (103) and runs (41, the next closest has 29) and is tied for first with four triples. The Phoenix, Ariz. native, who was also named Eastern League Player of the Week, was selected by the Phillies in the second round of the June 2015 draft.

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Klentak discusses Phillies' disappointing start

Klentak discusses Phillies' disappointing start

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said he is frustrated by his team's poor play, but he is taking the long view about the organization's rebuild and is not rushing to judgment about anybody based on seven weeks of a six-month season.

After Monday's 8-1 loss against the Rockies, the Phillies hold a 15-27 record. It is their worst start since 2000 (14-27).

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

Saunders personifies Phils' offensive struggles

Outfielder hits eighth as offense musters only three hits vs. Rockies

Saunders personifies Phils' offensive struggles

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin has tried to minimize frequent and drastic changes to his lineup this season because he knows his hitters prefer the familiar.

But he made an unexpected change to his lineup before Monday night's 8-1 loss to the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. He hit Michael Saunders eighth after spending most of the season hitting him fifth and sixth. Saunders, who went 0-for-3 with one strikeout against the Rockies, is hitting .227 with six doubles, two triples, four home runs and 15 RBIs with a .656 OPS in 41 games.

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

Moniak hits first homer with Lakewood

Moniak hits first homer with Lakewood

After showing flashes of dominance during his first four starts, left-hander Cionel Perez put it all together on Monday for Class A Quad Cities with an unhittable performance.

The Astros' No. 16 prospect was electric in his best professional start, tossing seven hitless frames with 10 strikeouts, both career highs, as Quad Cities defeated Peoria, 5-1. He issued one walk en route to facing one over the minimum, while throwing 54 of his 87 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.

Prospect Valentin may miss rest of season

Infielder set for surgery on separated left shoulder

Prospect Valentin may miss rest of season

PHILADELPHIA -- Triple-A second baseman Jesmuel Valentin nearly made the Phillies' Opening Day roster, but his season could be finished.

He is scheduled to have surgery to repair a recently separated left shoulder, which he injured diving for a ball.

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

Nola's return a bright spot for struggling Phils

Nola's return a bright spot for struggling Phils

PITTSBURGH -- It has been a dark few weeks for the Phillies, so Pete Mackanin preferred to focus Sunday only on Aaron Nola.

Nola rejoined the Phillies' rotation in a 1-0 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park. Nola, who spent a month on the disabled list because of a strained lower back, hit David Freese with a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to score the game's only run, but his otherwise splendid performance is heartening for a team that has struggled terribly since late last month.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Kingery makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Kingery makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances in the Minor Leagues from the previous seven days. Any player on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

This week's Prospect Team of the Week features our first two repeat performers, an organization hitting the list for the first time and the youngest player to make the team so far this year.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies can't get offense going in loss vs. Bucs

Phillies can't get offense going in loss vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Nola's worst pitch of the day came at the worst possible moment. After the Phillies decided to intentionally walk Josh Bell to load the bases with one out in the sixth, Nola hit David Freese in the back to bring home the only run in the Pirates' 1-0 win on a rainy Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

It was the first time a game's only run came on a hit-by-pitch since July 5, 1998, when Scott Erickson hit Chad Curtis in the third inning in the Yankees' 1-0 win over Orioles.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh and covered the Pirates on Sunday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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

Kingery stays hot, homers twice for Reading

Kingery stays hot, homers twice for Reading

Scott Kingery has found his power stroke.

The Phillies' No. 11 prospect hit a pair of solo homers, in the seventh and ninth innings, as part of a 4-for-5 day, but it was not enough for Double-A Reading as the Fightin Phils fell 8-7 to New Hampshire.

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

Phillies hope regular routine helps rotation

Club won't have off-day until June 19

Phillies hope regular routine helps rotation

PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies jumped to a surprising 24-17 start last season because they pitched better than anybody expected.

It has been quite the opposite this year.

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

McClure believes Velasquez will turn it around

McClure believes Velasquez will turn it around

PITTSBURGH -- Can Vince Velasquez be saved?

Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure said Sunday morning at PNC Park that Velasquez, 24, will conquer the demons that have prevented him from fulfilling his potential as a reliable pitcher in the Phillies rotation.

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

Phils tripped up after fast start vs. Bucs

Phils tripped up after fast start vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Ivan Nova turned in another lengthy start, David Freese tucked a go-ahead home run inside the left-field foul pole and Adam Frazier continued to sizzle atop the order, leading the Pirates to a 6-3 win over the Phillies on Saturday at PNC Park.

Nova held Philadelphia to three runs in 7 1/3 innings, recording 14 outs on the ground, and the Bucs' bats -- and some slick infield work, particularly by Freese and shortstop Jordy Mercer -- helped the right-hander pick up his first win since his shutout in Miami on April 29.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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

Velasquez feels 'clueless' after loss to Bucs

Velasquez feels 'clueless' after loss to Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Vince Velasquez is lost.

He is baffled that he has not pitched successfully in the big leagues in some time. He is 2-4 with a 5.98 ERA following Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park. He has failed to pitch six innings in five of his eight starts this season and in 16 of his 32 starts since he joined the Phillies last year.

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

Hellickson delivers outing the Phillies needed

Phillies right-hander confident he'll make next start after exiting in seventh with back tightness

Hellickson delivers outing the Phillies needed

PITTSBURGH -- It had been nearly two weeks since a Phillies starting pitcher pitched seven innings in a game. Jeremy Hellickson looked ready to snap the streak Friday night in a 7-2 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park.

Hellickson had allowed just two hits and two runs in six innings, not allowing a hit since the second batter of the game. He had thrown just 84 pitches and was cruising. But then he tweaked his lower back fouling off a pitch in the seventh inning. He ripped the next pitch down the left-field line to score an insurance run, but he grabbed his right side as he cruised into second base.

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

Phils ride Hellickson, Rupp's HR past Pirates

Phils ride Hellickson, Rupp's HR past Pirates

PITTSBURGH -- Two batters into Friday night's series opener at PNC Park, Jeremy Hellickson had given up two hits and a run. Twenty-six batters later, the Pirates still had two hits. Hellickson gave the Phillies the kind of start they needed, throwing six strong innings in a 7-2 win over the Pirates.

In the first inning, Hellickson gave up a leadoff single to Josh Harrison and an RBI double to Josh Bell. The Pirates tacked on another run through an error, and Hellickson proceeded to retire 16 of the next 17 batters he faced. After throwing 31 pitches in the first, Hellickson needed only 53 to get through the next five innings. The only thing that forced him out of the game? An apparent injury while slugging an RBI double down the left-field line.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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

Herrera unfazed by early-season hitting slump

Phillies center fielder ended 0-for-13 stretch with single Friday

Herrera unfazed by early-season hitting slump

PITTSBURGH -- Odubel Herrera sported a black T-shirt Friday afternoon at PNC Park. It had "Torito" written in gold lettering on the back, the No. 37 written in gold on his sleeve and the Venezuelan flag stitched over his heart.

Herrera said somebody from Philadelphia made it for him. Somebody suggested he sell them.

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

Kingery walks it off in big game for Reading

Kingery walks it off in big game for Reading

Nationals No. 1 prospect (No. 5 overall) Victor Robles had a 20th birthday to remember on Friday, going 4-for-5 with a triple and a two-run homer in Class A Advanced Potomac's 11-7 loss to Lynchburg. Robles raised his season average by 28 points with the performance to .283.

"We got off to a rough start tonight and got down a bunch, but he goes out and hits an opposite-field homer and then the triple," Potomac manager Tripp Keister told MiLB.com. "When he hit it, you really didn't think he'd get three out of it, but he's so fast and does so many things that make you say, 'Wow.'"

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

Mackanin holds team meeting before opener

Phillies lost 15 of last 18 games ahead of series vs. Pirates

Mackanin holds team meeting before opener

PITTSBURGH -- The Phillies entered Friday's series opener against the Pirates having lost 15 of their last 18 games, so manager Pete Mackanin held a team meeting at PNC Park.

"I don't want to divulge my recipe for that, because then everybody will use it and nobody will go into a slump," Mackanin said of the meeting. "We want the rest of the teams to falter."

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

Short starts stretching Phillies relievers thin

Short starts stretching Phillies relievers thin

ARLINGTON -- The Phillies are wondering, like everybody else, when the losing will end.

Their bullpen blew a two-run lead on Thursday afternoon in an 8-4 loss to the Rangers at Globe Life Park, which allowed Texas to sweep the series and hand the 14-24 Phillies their 15th loss in 18 games. It is the Phillies' worst 38-game start since 2000, when they also opened 14-24.

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