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Morgan demoted after another rough start for Phillies

By BRENT W. NEWJuly 8, 2016
Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story follows the flight of his solo home run off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Adam Morgan in the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Denver. Colorado won 11-2. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story follows the flight of his solo home run off Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Adam Morgan in the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Denver. Colorado won 11-2. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies starter Adam Morgan was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after another rocky outing.

Manager Pete Mackanin broke the news to the 26-year-old left-hander in the clubhouse after the Phillies fell to the Colorado Rockies 11-2 on Thursday night.

“You never like to send anybody out,” said Mackanin following a 40-minute meeting with Morgan. “He knows what he has to do to improve. I believe he’s going to improve.”

Morgan (1-7) allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings and dropped to 0-7 in his last nine starts.

Morgan gave up runs in the first three innings, starting with Nolan Arenado’s RBI double in the first.

Reynolds then led off the second with his ninth home run, and in the third, with LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez aboard, Story drove a 3-2 offering from Morgan into the left-field bleachers for his first homer of the game and a 5-1 Rockies lead.

Story put the Rockies up 6-2 in the fifth with his second homer of the game.

“To me lately it hasn’t been fun,” Morgan said. “I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself. This break coming up I feel like will be good. And also going down (to Triple-A) and being able to work on things and not feel so much pressure ... it can really go up from here.”

Ryan Howard homered in the second, his 12th of the season and 369th of his career to tie Ralph Kiner and former Rockies first baseman Todd Helton for 78th place on the career list. Maikel Franco doubled and singled but had his home run streak snapped at four games.

Story, one of five players on the ballot for the last NL All-Star spot, joined Dave Kingman (1972) and Albert Pujols (2001) as the only NL rookies to hit 21 home runs prior to the break.

Chad Bettis (7-6) allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings for Colorado.

PHILS STAY POSITVE AFTER BLOWOUT LOSS

The Phillies won five of six games on their recent homestand only to get shelled in the opener of a four-game set in Colorado.

Mackanin stayed positive, looking at the bigger picture.

“There’s a long-term goal, and that’s what this year is all about,” Mackanin said. “Now we’ve been successful, especially recently — the first two months and then recently we’ve been successful. The guys are starting to swing the bats well. We’re getting there little by little. We’re taking baby steps. A lot of encouraging things are going on.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Andrew Bailey (left hamstring strain) should be activated Saturday when he is eligible to be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. ... RHP Aaron Nola, who was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday to give him a breather before the All-Star break, was scheduled to throw a two-inning simulated game Saturday.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (7-2) has won his last two starts since being reinstated June 27 from the 15-day disabled list. He spent time on the DL because of a right biceps strain.

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (5-4) is slated to make his seventh start this season at Coors Field, where he has gone 3-0 with a 5.05 ERA.

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