Vince Velasquez threw five strong innings in his return from the disabled list and the Philadelphia Phillies opened a three-game series in Arizona with an 8-0 rout of the Diamondbacks on Monday night. Velasquez (6-2), who hadn't pitched since June 8 because of a right biceps strain, gave up five hits and struck out seven with no walks. The 24-year-old right-hander threw 84 pitches before he was removed as a precaution. Robbie Ray (4-7) blanked the Phillies through five innings before getting tagged with two runs in the sixth and two in Philadelphia's six-run seventh. The Diamondbacks were just back from a 7-3 road trip that included a four-game sweep of the Phillies.
The Nationals cleared space on the 40-man roster for top prospect Lucas Giolito by releasing Taylor Jordan, MASN’s Dan Kolko reports. The club also optioned reliever Rafael Martin to Triple-A Syracuse. Jordan, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time last month. In parts of three seasons in the majors with the Nationals, Jordan compiled a 4.48 ERA with a 57/25 K/BB ratio in 94 1/3 innings. While Jordan’s mediocre control and inability to frequently miss bats will limit his potential, he can still be plenty valuable at the back of another team’s starting rotation once he’s healthy. Giolito, 21, is making his major league debut on Tuesday night against the Mets. He has, to this point,