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Phillies' Velasquez fans 16 in shutout

PHILADELPHIA — Call him Vinny the K.

Vince Velasquez struck out a career-high 16 in a dominant three-hitter, Ryan Howard homered and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 3-0 Thursday.

"My emotions were running high," Velasquez said. "That was very fun."

Velasquez (2-0) had no walks and extended his scoreless streak to 15 innings with his first shutout in nine career starts. The 23-year-old right-hander, acquired in the trade that sent former closer Ken Giles to Houston, had nine strikeouts in six innings in a 1-0 win at the New York Mets last Saturday.

"He's something else," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "Very impressive."

The Padres became the first team in major league history to be shut out five times in the first 10 games. They scored one run — with two outs in the ninth on Wednesday — in the last three games.

"We have to be more competitive," Padres manager Andy Green said. "It's time for us to make more mental adjustments in the box."

San Diego lefty Drew Pomeranz (1-1) tied his career best with eight strikeouts in six innings, allowing three hits and two runs.

Wearing short sleeves on a crisp afternoon, Velasquez blew fastballs past overmatched hitters and kept them off-balance with a biting curve. He struck out the side in the eighth, reaching 97 mph a couple times.

Velasquez retired the last 14 batters he faced. He fanned Wil Myers on a 96 mph fastball to end it, threw both arms up in the air and jumped off the mound.

"I kind of reared back and tried to get it," Velasquez said. "It's exciting."

Teammate Andres Blanco dumped a bucket of water on Velasquez after the game.

Howard hit a towering drive out to left-center in the second inning for his third homer. His sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the sixth.

Washington's Max Scherzer is the only other pitcher since 2000 to toss a shutout with 16 or more strikeouts and zero walks. Scherzer had 17 strikeouts in a no-hitter against the Mets last Oct. 3.

The 25 strikeouts through his first two starts are the most by any Phillies pitcher in the modern era. Jim Bunning had 20 in 1964.

Cliff Lee was Philadelphia's last pitcher to get 16 strikeouts against Atlanta on May 6, 2011.

Velasquez, who told reporters he preferred Vince over Vincent in spring training, also got his first career hit, a single in the third inning.

"The first of many," he joked.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaime Garcia pitched a one-hitter, allowing only Domingo Santana's lined single into right field with two outs in the sixth inning, in St. Louis' victory over Milwaukee.

Garcia struck out 13, three more than his previous career high, and caught eight of them looking at third strikes. The left-hander is 4-1 with a 1.44 ERA in his last five starts against the Brewers.

Randal Grichuk and Jeremy Hazelbaker hit two-run homers. Grichuk's drive in the third off Wily Peralta (0-3), which boosted the lead to 5-0, barely eluded center fielder Keon Broxton.

Hazelbaker hit his team-high third home run of the season in the seventh, against Chris Capuano.


CHICAGO (AP) — Jason Hammel pitched six scoreless innings, drove home a run and scored another to lead Chicago past Cincinnati for the Cubs' best start since 1969.

The Cubs swept the three-game series and improved to 8-1 for the first time in 47 years. They won 11 of 12 to start the '69 season en route to a second-place finish.

Dexter Fowler and Addison Russell had three hits, and Kris Bryant hit his second home run.

Hammel (1-0) allowed four hits, walked four and struck out three on 88 pitches in chilly weather.

Raisel Iglesias (1-1) allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over five innings.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper hit his first grand slam to reach 100 career home runs, launching a shot that smashed a panel on an electronic signboard and sent Washington over Atlanta, dropping the Braves to 0-9.

The Braves and Minnesota, which fell to 0-9 hours earlier, are the first major league teams to lose nine in a row to start a season since Detroit in 2003, STATS said. Atlanta moved closer to the team-worst 0-10 beginning in 1988.

Harper connected for his slam in the third inning and became the eighth-youngest player to hit 100 homers. The reigning NL MVP is 23 years, 181 days old — Hall of Famer Mel Ott was more than a full year younger when he became the youngest to do it.

Stephen Strasburg (2-0) allowed two runs over 7 2/3 innings, a day after he was scratched due to illness. Wilson Ramos had a solo home run and an RBI double as Washington improved to 7-1, tying the 1974 Montreal Expos for the best eight-game start in franchise history.

Julio Teheran (0-2) gave up six runs in seven innings.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota dropped to 0-9, falling to Mat Latos, Avisail Garcia and Chicago.

The Twins have scored only 14 runs this season.

The White Sox (7-2) won their fourth in a row, extending their best start since an 8-1 run in 1982. They're 6-1 on the road after recording their first sweep at Minnesota since 2012.

Latos (2-0) gave up one run and three hits in six innings. Ervin Santana (0-1) allowed three runs in seven innings. Garcia drove a two-out fastball into the open grass behind the center field wall a solo home run in the fourth. He hit a double about as hard leading off the seventh inning and came around on a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kike Hernandez hit a two-run double during a five-run seventh inning to back another solid outing from rookie Ross Stripling, and Los Angeles beat Arizona.

Stripling allowed two runs on five hits but trailed 2-0 when he exited after six innings. He tossed 7 1/3 hitless innings against San Francisco in his major league debut last week.

Arizona starter Robbie Ray was charged with the first two runs in the seventh. Randall Delgado (0-1) allowed an RBI single to Justin Turner and then Hernandez's drive to the wall in left-center. Andrew Chafin then gave up RBI singles to Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.

Ray allowed the two runs on four hits and five walks over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six.

J.P. Howell (1-0) got the victory with a perfect inning of relief.


TORONTO (AP) — Josh Donaldson hit a three-run home run, Troy Tulowitzki added a solo shot and Toronto beat New York.

Marcus Stroman (2-0) allowed two runs and three hits in eight innings to win his seventh consecutive decision. Stroman retired the final 11 batters he faced, and improved to 5-1 with a 2.39 ERA in six career starts against the Yankees. Roberto Osuna finished for his fourth save.

Donaldson erased a 2-0 deficit with a second drive to center in the fifth. Tulowitzki snapped a 0-for-10 slump with a first-pitch blast in the sixth. Both homers came off Nathan Eovaldi (0-1).


HOUSTON (AP) — Ian Kennedy threw seven strong innings, and Eric Hosmer hit a two-run double during a five-run sixth and Kansas City had a season-high 13 hits to beat Houston.

Kennedy (2-0) started with five hitless innings and retired 14 straight before Carlos Gomez's leadoff single to center in the sixth. Kennedy struck out seven and allowed a run on two hits and two walks.

Mike Moustakas hit a solo homer in the first and went 2 for 4 with a walk. The defending World Series champs are 7-2 after winning the final three games of the four-game set with the Astros.

Wade Davis got two outs for his fourth save. Doug Fister (1-1) was the loser.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rougned Odor had a tiebreaking double in a five-run sixth inning and Texas beat Baltimore, handing the Orioles their second straight loss after a 7-0 start.

The Texas rally preserved a career-best nine-game winning streak for ace Cole Hamels, who struggled after retiring the first eight hitters and left facing a 3-1 deficit in the sixth.

After Tom Wilhelmsen (1-0) kept the Rangers close by getting an inning-ending double play, five straight Texas hitters reached in the sixth against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman (1-1).

Mark Trumbo hit his third homer for the Orioles.

Texas closer Shawn Tolleson pitched around a two-out single in the ninth for his third save.


PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jordan Zimmermann pitched six shutout innings, Nick Castellanos homered and drove in four runs and Detroit beat Pittsburgh to improve to 4-0 on the road.

Zimmermann (2-0), who signed a five-year, $110 million deal with Detroit last December, gave up six hits and two walks while striking out four. He has yet to give up a run for the Tigers.

Castellanos hit a two-run double in the fourth off Gerrit Cole (0-2) and added a two-run homer in the eighth off Tony Watson. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Danny Salazar gave up three hits in six innings, Marlon Byrd hit one of Cleveland's three home runs and the Indians beat Tampa Bay.

Cleveland took two of three in the series, limiting the Rays to 15 hits.

Salazar (2-0) struck out nine and walked three. Zach McAllister, Bryan Shaw and Trevor Bauer completed a five-hitter. Chris Archer (0-3) gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He is 0-6 with a 5.83 ERA in nine starts since beating Baltimore on Aug. 31.

Jose Ramirez and Rajai Davis also homered.


DENVER (AP) — Jorge De La Rosa had two hits, drove in two runs and pitched into the seventh inning to lead Colorado past San Francisco.

De La Rosa (1-1) allowed four runs — three earned — struck out seven and walked one in 6 2/3 innings. He was coming off a Saturday outing against San Diego in which he gave up seven runs in four innings.

Brandon Belt homered for the second straight game for the Giants.

Matt Cain (0-1) took the loss.

Philadelphia pitcher Vince Velasquez, right, greets catcher Cameron Rupp after hurling a three-hit shutout. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS