Instant Replay: Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 1

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Four days ago, the Arizona Diamondbacks arrived in Philadelphia 10 games under .500, a game-and-a-half worse than the Phillies. But like many teams have lately, the D-backs took advantage of the Phils' lack of offense and declining pitching, winning, 3-1, Monday afternoon to complete a four-game sweep.

The Phillies lost all six games on their homestand. It's their first winless homestand of at least six games since Sept. 21-27, 1964, when they famously blew a 6½-game lead with 12 to play.

At 30-41, the Phillies are on pace to finish 68-94, which was right about where most pegged them prior to the season.

Starting pitching report
Jeremy Hellickson (4-6, 4.41) allowed three runs in the first inning and that was pretty much it for the Phils, a team that has scored three or fewer in 63 percent of its games.

The Diamondbacks greeted Hellickson in the first with a double, RBI single, two-run homer and another double, but from there he settled in.

Hellickson ended up giving the Phillies seven solid innings, allowing just two hits after the first inning and retiring the final 10 batters he faced. But that opening frame continues to be as problematic for Hellickson as it was last season, which he spent with the Diamondbacks.

Hellickson has allowed 12 earned runs in the first inning in his 15 starts for a 7.20 ERA. He spoke this spring about the need to execute his pitches better early in games after posting a 5.33 first-inning ERA in 2015, but so far he hasn't been able to limit the early damage.

Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller returned from a month-long DL stint to pitch his best game of the season. Miller had been terrible before going on the shelf with a finger injury, entering Monday's game 1-6 with a 7.09 ERA and an average of just 4.5 innings per start. But he looked healthy Monday, reaching as high as 97 mph on the radar gun. He showed the kind of repertoire the D-backs expected when they traded last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, Dansby Swanson, and more to the Braves to acquire Miller in the offseason.

It also obviously helped that Miller was going against the majors' weakest offense. He allowed just one run on five hits over 6⅔ innings with one walk and five strikeouts. Miller retired 14 batters in a row from the third inning through the seventh.

Bullpen report
Hector Neris pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.89. Neris has been better his last two times out, throwing three scoreless innings and 28 of 37 pitches for strikes.

Sidearmed D-backs closer Brad Ziegler picked up his 15th save. The Phils put their first two men on base in the ninth on a single and an error by shortstop Nick Ahmed, but Ziegler escaped by getting Tommy Joseph to ground into a double play and then striking out Cameron Rupp to end it.

At the plate
Tyler Goeddel drove in the Phils' lone run with a two-out RBI double in the second. Goeddel hasn't played much this month, starting just eight of the Phillies' 19 games in June. He had a two-hit day, also singling in the seventh to chase Miller.

Another 0 for 4 for Joseph has him down to .230/.248/.470 through 105 plate appearances.

Arizona third baseman Jake Lamb hit a two-run homer in the first inning, his 14th of the season. Lamb destroyed Phillies pitching in the series, going 9 for 17 with a double, triple, two homers and five RBIs. 

The Diamondbacks had 10 home runs and 19 extra-base hits in the four-game series. The Phillies had one home run and six extra-base hits. They were outscored, 22-5.

On the bases
Freddy Galvis was caught stealing by plenty in the first inning. Peter Bourjos stole a base a few innings later, but the Phillies as a team are just 29 for 52 on stolen base attempts this season, a success rate of 55.8 percent, which is third-worst in the majors, ahead of only the Rockies and Mariners.

A team that does as little offensively as the Phils, that has a .280 team on-base percentage, simply cannot afford to give away so many outs on the bases.

On the mend
Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez will make a rehab start Wednesday with Double A Reading, the pitcher said Monday (see story). Velasquez has been out since June 9 with a right biceps strain.

Reliever Dalier Hinojosa will begin a rehab assignment Monday with Class A Clearwater. He hasn't pitched since injuring his hand on a comebacker on April 28.

Up next
The Phillies head to Minnesota to begin a nine-game road trip. They have three games with the Twins, three in San Francisco and then three in Arizona.

The pitching matchups for the Twins series are:

Tuesday — Aaron Nola (5-6, 3.51) vs. Tyler Duffey (2-6, 5.56)

Wednesday — Adam Morgan (1-6, 6.49) vs. Kyle Gibson (0-5, 6.06)

Thursday — Jerad Eickhoff (4-9, 3.49) vs. TBA

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