It took Zach Eflin until his 5th start in the Major Leagues, but he finally got his first victory, and he did it in impressive fashion. Eflin threw just 92 pitches in tonight’s ballgame in his first complete game of his young career. Eflin was backed by his offense as well, as the team hit four home runs that led to five runs in the Philies’ 5-1 victory over the Braves (28-56). With the win tonight, the Phillies (39-46) have now won 7 of their last 8 games, and are clicking on all cylinders at the plate.
The Phillies offense didn’t rack up a ton of hits in tonight’s ballgame, but the team did get hits, they were big ones. The Phillies recorded 8 hits as a team, with 4 of them going out of the yard. The Phillies have now hits 9 home runs in the last 3 games alone. Peter Bourjos seems to have found a home in the 2 hole for Pete Mackanin, and he delivered again for the Phillies tonight. Bourjos kicked off the scoring in tonight’s game with a solo homer, his fourth of the year, in the bottom of the 1st inning. A solo home run by Cody Asche, his fourth of the season, and a sac fly by Freddy Galvis both in the bottom of the 4th inning gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead after four frames. Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph both hit solo homers in the 6th inning to give the Phillies the 5-0 lead. Franco has now homered in three straight games and has 16 bombs on the year. Franco seems to have found his groove at the plate, going 2 for 4 tonight with 2 runs scored, and the RBI coming off his solo homer. Asche and Joseph were the other two Phillies to record multiple hits in the game.
Eflin was the star in tonight’s game, and he didn’t do in your typical complete game style. He didn’t have a ton of strikeouts and throw over 100 pitches. Tonight, Eflin was all about efficiency. Getting outs is the key to the game, and Eflin got all 27 the Phillies needed. Eflin needed just 92 pitches to get those 27 outs, and his best inning was his four pitch 8th inning. He was the only pitcher Mackanin needed on the mound tonight, as nine different times he stepped on the mound tonight, and he delivered each time. The complete game is the longest outing of Eflin’s professional career, and he earned his first win at the big league level in the process. Eflin allowed just one run on 6 hits while striking out 6 batters over his 9 innings of work. Eflin improves to 1-2 on the year with a 4.30 ERA. Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz suffered the loss in tonight’s contest, as he allowed 5 runs on 8 hits and a walk in 5 and 2/3 innings of work. He now falls to 2-3 on the year with an ERA of 4.29.
The Phillies have already clinched their third straight series victory, but they will be going for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park. Jeremy Hellickson (6-6, 4.06 ERA) will get the ball tomorrow for the Phillies against Braves starter Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 5.79 ERA). Hellickson and the red hot Phillies offense will be looking for their 8th win in their last 9 games in the series finale tomorrow afternoon.
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