Howard's HR Powers Phillies Past Mets 1-0

Vince Velasquez struck out a career-high nine over six innings in his Philadelphia debut, Ryan Howard homered off Bartolo Colon and the Phillies beat the New York Mets 1-0 on a chilly Saturday night for their first win this season.

Velasquez (1-0), a 23-year-old right-hander acquired in the seven-player offseason deal that sent closer Ken Giles to Houston, struggled through a 26-pitch first inning but retired Neil Walker on an inning-ending flyout with two on. New York didn't put two runners on in an inning after that.

Velasquez made seven starts and 12 relief appearances as a rookie last year. Helping the rebuilding Phillies avoid what would have been their first 0-5 start since 1934, he gave up three hits and three walks.

Hector Neris, Daniel Stumpf, David Hernandez and Jeanmar Gomez combined for hitless relief, sealing just the second win for the Phillies in their last 12 games at Citi Field. Gomez got three outs for his second career save, his first since July 2014 with Pittsburgh.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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