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Braves top Phils with early runs, young arm

July 29, 2016

ATLANTA -- While Vince Velasquez auditioned for the crowd of scouts that came to see him at Turner Field on Friday night, Tyrell Jenkins provided a more encouraging glimpse of his potential as a starting pitcher and helped the Braves claim a 2-1 win over the Phillies.Gordon Beckham and Nick

ATLANTA -- While Vince Velasquez auditioned for the crowd of scouts that came to see him at Turner Field on Friday night, Tyrell Jenkins provided a more encouraging glimpse of his potential as a starting pitcher and helped the Braves claim a 2-1 win over the Phillies.
Gordon Beckham and Nick Markakis recorded RBI singles during a two-run second inning that doomed Velasquez and proved sufficient for Jenkins, who allowed just one unearned run over six innings en route to claiming his first career win. The Phillies had won each of the past five games played against the Braves.
"[Velasquez] was tough, and our guys hung in there pretty good against him," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "You're not going to get a whole lot, and thank God we didn't give up a whole lot. It was a good ballgame."
Velasquez escaped multiple threats as he surrendered two earned runs and seven hits over six innings. The Dodgers and Rangers were among the teams that had scouts in the stands to watch the Phillies right-hander, who has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 12 of his 18 starts. Philadelphia's only run was tallied in the third inning, when César Hernández scored from first base after Jace Peterson bobbled Odúbel Herrera's single in left field.
"Their guy was effectively wild, let's put it that way," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "We had him on the ropes early."
Surging since the break: Markakis highlighted his three-hit game with a pair of doubles, but it was his two-out single in the third inning that proved to be the game's decisive blow. Erick Aybar began the third with a single and scored on the single by Beckham, who entered Friday hitting just .143 (6-for-42) since the All-Star break. Markakis has been trending the other way, hitting .347 since the break.

"It's all about having good at-bats," Markakis said. "You go up there with a plan and stick to it and try to execute. Once you hit the ball, you can't do much about it. You just have good plans and good approaches and try to hit it where they're not."
All eyes on Vince: The Phillies acquired Velasquez from Houston in December as part of the Ken Giles trade, so would they really trade him less than eight months later? It is unlikely, but the presence of scouts, particularly three from the Rangers, is noteworthy and the rebuilding Phillies certainly will listen to what teams have to say. After all, what if they get an offer they can't refuse?

"Am I aware of it? Yeah," Velasquez said about the trade speculation. "I can't control anything. If they trade me, they trade me. I can't do anything about it. What am I going to do? The only thing I can do is pitch. That's my job." More >
Jenkins rebounds: Coming off an ugly start at Coors Field, where he allowed seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, Jenkins issued a walk to begin the game and then retired each of the next five batters he faced. The rookie right-hander, who has made two of his four starts against the Phillies, pitched around Cody Asche's one-out double in the second inning and got Herrera to fly out with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning. He retired each of the final seven batters he faced.

"It's a special night," Jenkins said. "I was just glad I was keeping the guys in the game. It was a close game, and luckily we pulled away with a [win]." More >
Howard makes things interesting:Ryan Howard hit a pinch-hit double to center field with two outs in the ninth inning to put the tying runner on base, and Hernandez worked a walk to put the go-ahead run at first. But Herrera grounded out to shortstop Aybar, who threw to third to end the game.
"The play to end the game was a good play," Mackanin said. "It just worked out perfect, going to his backhand. There's nothing [pinch-runner Tyler] Goeddel could have done. Just a [heck] of a play."
"Our whole goal was to get young pitchers, because they're the most expensive commodity. If you can develop young pitchers like him and have four or five of those guys, then you're ahead of the game, but at the same time I'll listen to any offers if you get three guys for him that are really good looking prospects. You've got to consider it." -- Mackanin, on trade talks between the Rangers and Phillies for Velasquez
The Phillies challenged a call in the seventh inning that Chase d'Arnaud successfully stole second base. The replay official in New York ruled that d'Arnaud failed to maintain contact with the base as Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis applied the tag. He overturned the call and d'Arnaud was out.

Phillies: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson is scheduled to start the third of a four-game series on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET against the Braves at Turner Field. Hellickson (7-7, 3.65) is the mostly likely Phillies player to be traded before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline and talks could pick up with Andrew Cashner traded Friday to the Marlins, which removed one more starter from the board.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Julio Teheran, who will be making his first start since exiting his July 22 outing at Coors Field with tightness in the upper right portion of his back. Teheran has held opponents scoreless in four of his past six starts.
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Mark Bowman is a reporter for Listen to his podcast.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.