Rested Velasquez returns to form following break

Rested Velasquez returns to form following break

PHILADELPHIA -- Vince Velasquez spent the All-Star break relaxing and hanging out with his nephews in California. He returned to Philadelphia last week feeling refreshed.

Velasquez pitched like it Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss in 10 innings to the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Velasquez, who battled "dead arm" before the break, struck out Giancarlo Stanton on a 97-mph fastball in the first inning. He allowed just one run on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings, which was his longest outing since he struck out 16 in a shutout against the Padres on April 14.

"I got my full rest in," Velasquez said. "If I'm refreshed, I would expect to at least go seven innings, at least more than five. I was pretty happy with the outcome today."

Velasquez is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA (five earned runs in 24 innings) in four starts since he returned from the disabled list in June. His velocity had been down in those first three starts, which Velasquez attributed to fatigue. He had no such issues against the Marlins.

"I didn't really have my stuff against the Royals [on July 3], but I just had to pitch to contact," Velasquez said. "That's what pitching is all about. You're not going to have your stuff every day. It's just like real estate. You've got to locate. My dad came up with that. It's so true. I pitched to my spots against the Royals and executed very well."

But a little extra juice helped him Tuesday.

"Don't hold anything back," Velasquez said. "It's the first start back. Why not go at it and give it all you've got? If nothing is hurting, then I don't see why not."

Velasquez made one mistake: an 0-2 slider to Christian Yelich in the fourth inning that was crushed for a solo home run to right-center field.

"That can't happen," Velasquez said.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.