Joseph pinch-hit homer leads Phillies over Rockies

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[July 09, 2016]  DENVER -- The Philadelphia Phillies went 87 games without a pinch-hit home run this season. They erased that statistical shortcoming at the perfect time Friday night.

Tommy Joseph came off the Phillies' bench in the seventh and walloped a go-ahead, three-run pinch-hit homer off Jake McGee that enabled the Phillies to beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3.

It was the first pinch-hit homer of Joseph's career, his 10th since making his major league debut May 14 and capped a four-run seventh.

Joseph's blast traveled an estimated 455 feet down the left-field line. He knew the ball was gone the moment he made contact but had to be sure it didn't hook foul.

"No-doubters you don't feel them," Joseph said. "You just get to watch it, and for it to stay fair -- even better."

Joseph connected on a 1-1 slider, not the pitch he was looking for from McGee (0-3) with his mid-90s fastball.

"Any hard-throwing guy, you got to look for his heater," Joseph said. "You don't want to get your doors blown off. I was looking for the heat and saw it came in the middle of the plate."

Trevor Story's two-out single in the bottom of the inning made it a one-run game. But set-up man Hector Neris got out of a bases-loaded jam and gave the Phillies a solid inning, and closer Jenmar Gomez, aided by left fielder Tyler Goeddel's sprawling catch that prevented the tying run from scoring in the eighth, got the final four outs of the game to earn his 24th save in 26 opportunities.

Rockies starter Jon Gray gave up three hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He held the Phillies scoreless on two hits through six innings before showing signs of fatigue in the seventh.

"I was just locked in from the beginning," Gray said. "I knew everything was going to work well judging by how I felt in the bullpen. I was just ready to go into attack mode."



Cameron Rupp drew a leadoff walk from Gray in the seventh and took second on a wild pitch. After Gray struck out Ryan Howard, Freddy Galvis floated a single to right on Gray's 94th pitch and Rockies manager Walt Weiss brought on the left-handed McGee to face switch-hitting Cesar Hernandez, a .296 hitter batting left-handed and .257 from the right side.

Hernandez bounced a first-pitch single into left, and Joseph followed with his go-ahead blast on McGee's fateful slider.

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"Most of my career, I've got to stick with my fastball and not get beat with a secondary pitch," McGee said. "My slider in that situation lost the game and kind of spoiled Gray's good outing."

Joseph pinch-hit for Phillies starter Vince Velasquez (8-2), who scattered eight hits over six innings but allowed just two runs. He stranded seven runners and limited the Rockies to one hit in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position -- Carlos Gonzalez's run-scoring double in the third that produced the Rockies' first run. Story doubled home the second with two outs in the fifth, following Gonzalez's infield single.

After Story made it a one-run game with a two-out single off Andrew Bailey, who over for Velasquez, Neris took over. He walked Brandon Barnes to load the bases but got Mark Reynolds to ground out.

Neris got the first two outs in the eighth but gave way to Gomez after Charlie Blackmon's double. Gomez got out of the inning when Goeddel, who pinch hit in the top of the eighth and stayed in the game, dashed into short left field and made a diving catch of DJ LeMahieu's short fly.

"When I hit the ground, it sort of squirted in my glove a little bit," Goeddel said. "I'm pretty happy it stayed in there, preserved the lead. I love selling out and making those plays. That's the best part of playing the outfield. You're able to do that in a close game - it's awesome."

NOTES: Rockies INF Daniel Descalso played left field, making his first career start and second appearance in the outfield. ... Rockies SS Trevor Story finished third in the voting for the final spot on the National League All-Star team. ... Phillies RHP Andrew Bailey (left hamstring strain) was activated from the disabled list and gave up two hits and one run in two-thirds of an inning. ... Phillies OF Aaron Altherr (left wrist), who underwent surgery after breaking the wrist in spring training, began a rehab assignment with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Phillies and went 1-for-1 with a home run and two walks while playing five innings. ... Rockies OF prospect David Dahl was added to the U.S. team for the Futures Game in San Diego on Sunday. Dahl was promoted earlier this week to Triple-A Albuquerque and has gone 11-for-19 with three doubles, two homers and five RBIs in his first four games.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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