Velasquez still struggling, Phils routed by Cards

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Vince Velasquez hopes a round of golf will solve what ails him right now.
 
   The Phillies right-hander continued his struggles Sunday in a 9-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
 
   Velasquez (8-6) surrendered five runs on seven hits in five innings. The 24-year-old is 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA in his last seven starts.
 
   "He wasn't locating his secondary pitches," Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said. "He's got to keep working on it."
 
   Velasquez, who had 16 strikeouts in a game earlier this season, isn't sure how to turn things around.
 
   "I'm trying to figure it out," Velasquez said. "I can't give a solid answer because I don't know what it is."
 
   His solution?
 
   "I'm going to play a round of golf and take my mind off baseball," he said. "I think a round of golf is going to solve it."
 
   The Cardinals teed off on Phillies pitching, with Jedd Gyorko, Stephen Piscotty, Brandon Moss and Jeremy Hazelbaker hitting home runs.
 
   "It's not the only way we can score runs but it's our main way," Moss said. "We've got a lot of guys in the lineup that can do a lot of damage. It's nice to have guys in the lineup who can change a game like that."
 
   The Cardinals had hit multiple home runs in nine straight games, tying a major league record, before failing to connect twice Saturday night in a 4-2 loss. Manager Mike Matheny was happy to see the bats get hot again.
 
   "We needed that to continue to watch these guys stay in a good rhythm," he said.
 
   Jhonny Peralta added three hits as the Cardinals finished a 6-3 road trip. They remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Miami for the final wild-card spot in the National League.
 
   The Cardinals got six extra-base hits to set a club record of 14 straight games with at least three extra-base hits.
 
   Mike Leake (9-9) gave up seven hits and struck out eight. Philadelphia had homered in 14 straight games before getting blanked by Leake and two relievers.
 
   Moss hit his 23rd homer and Leake added a two-run single later in the fourth for a 4-0 lead.
 
   "I didn't have electric stuff early and next thing you know everything goes south when you don't have your secondary pitches," Velasquez said. "I'm not figuring it out and haven't found that turning point yet."
 
   Mackanin believes the young pitcher will find whatever is missing.
 
   "He's going to be real good at one point," he said. "He has to be more efficient with his pitches and get his pitch count down."
 
   Piscotty connected in the fifth, the eighth home run Velasquez has allowed in three games.
 
   In the eighth, Gyorko hit his 20th homer and Hazelbaker had a pinch-hit drive.
 
   "We got hit pretty bad," Mackanin said.
 
   FOULS HIT FANS
 
   A day after a young girl was taken to the hospital when she was struck by a foul ball behind the Cardinals dugout, a young woman was hit in the face by Leake's foul in the sixth. She held an ice pack as she was helped to the concourse from her seat about 10 rows behind the dugout.
 
   Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis, who hit the foul that injured the fan Saturday night, said before the game that the team should extend the netting from behind home plate all the way to left field.
 
   "The fans give you the money, so you should protect them, right?" Galvis said. "We're worried about speeding up the game. Why don't you put up a net and protect all the fans?"
 
   UP NEXT
 
   The Phillies start a five-game road trip on Tuesday night at the White Sox. RHP Jake Thompson (1-2, 8.79) faces Chicago LHP Carlos Rodon (3-8, 4.26).
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