After W, Phils look to take series vs. Marlins

MLB

The Philadelphia Phillies will be looking for their second straight win and a series victory when they host the Miami Marlins in the finale of their three-game set on Sunday.

The Phillies received four home runs, two from Phil Gosselin, in a 7-1 win on Saturday.

“Feels good,” Gosselin told reporters after the game. “It’s been nice getting a ton of at-bats.”

Philadelphia will hand the ball to right-hander Vince Velasquez on Sunday. Velasquez was 7-8 with a 4.91 ERA last season and allowed 26 home runs.

In five starts against the Marlins last season, Velasquez was 0-1 with a 7.06 ERA. For his career, Velasquez holds a 4-3 record with a 4.33 ERA against Miami.

Throughout his career, Velasquez has struggled with his command.

“The whole quarantine made me kind of realize that a lot of guys are geared up on my fastball with me being a power pitcher,” Velasquez said. “I need to learn how to locate something away from righties and in on lefties. I had a discussion with (assistant pitching coach David) Lundquist. I was like, ‘Hey man, how’d you throw your cutter? How’d you do this?’ I kind of picked his brain a little bit.”

Velasquez remains confident that he can be a key contributor with this organization.

“I just want to be the pitcher where I can be consistent day in, day out,” he said. “I’m one of those guys where if I need to get something done, I get it done.”

Didi Gregorius homered in each of the first two games with his new team and believes the lineup will continue to produce.

“From top to bottom, it’s something really cool,” Gregorius said. “It’s fun to see everyone in front of you.”

The Marlins will counter with right-hander Jose Urena, who had started the previous two season openers.

Urena had a 4-10 mark with a 5.21 ERA last season in 24 appearances, 13 of which were starts. Urena was placed on the injured list June 13, 2019, with a herniated disc in his back and finished the season in the bullpen.

Urena is 3-5 with a 4.27 ERA over his career against the Phillies.

During spring training, he appeared to regain his form with a miniscule 1.06 ERA in 17 innings.

“I think what we saw in spring was a guy who was more willing to make some adjustments,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said of Urena.

Urena added that he’s more than ready for his debut this season.

“We keep working and it’s pretty good,” he said of how he feels. “You’ve got more support.”

The Marlins will continue to play without catcher Jorge Alfaro, who was recently placed on the injured list with an undisclosed ailment.

Francisco Cervelli started the opener and Chad Wallach was behind the plate on Saturday.

“Obviously, Francisco brings comfort in that area,” Mattingly said. “In spring training, Francisco was more of a split-time guy with Jorge being beat up in camp. But it is nice to have Cervi there, because you know he’s an experienced guy who has run staffs and played in big games.”

–Field Level Media

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