Phillies maintain stranglehold on Braves with 5-2 win
ATLANTA — On a team searching for starters, right-hander Zach Eflin may provide an answer for the Philadelphia Phillies. At least he did for one night.
Eflin pitched seven strong innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their dominance over Atlanta, beating the Braves 5-2 on Tuesday night at SunTrust Park.
Eflin, recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make his first big-league start since May 28, allowed two runs and seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk. He also went 1 for 3 with an RBI as the Phillies improved to 10-2 against the Braves this season.
“I want to be a part of this team and the future,” he said. “I want to go through the ups and downs with these guys. I want to be here and I want to win a lot of ball games.”
Eflin (1-3) won for the first time since July 22, 2016, against Pittsburgh.
“I can’t put my finger on anything,” Eflin said. “I’ve pitched very good and I’ve pitched very bad. I worked on some mechanical stuff in Triple-A and I feel like I’m back to my old self. I feel comfortable on the mound.”
The big moment for Eflin came in the seventh inning. The first three Atlanta hitters reached, and the Braves produced a run on a single by Matt Adams. After a mound visit, Eflin retired the next three batters on stress-free plays and left the game in the hands of the bullpen.
“I was excited about the way I finished,” Eflin said. “To be able to hunker down and get the guys I needed to get out were big for me. Especially going down, working on everything I needed to work on and to come back and show I could fight back and get through that inning.”
Hoby Milner pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Hector Neris worked the ninth for his 12th save.
Atlanta starter Julio Teheran’s troubles at home continued. Teheran (7-10) allowed five runs in five innings and gave up his 28th home run. With his fourth straight loss, his home record dropped to 1-8.
“Just a lot of deep counts,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said.
Philadelphia’s offense was led by center fielder Odubel Herrera, who was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs and two stolen bases.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Freddie Freeman hit his 21st home run of the season.
“Eflin was really good,” Mackanin said. “The first inning he didn’t look like he had a real good feel for his breaking stuff. After that, he settled down.”
The Phillies broke through against Teheran to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Herrera walked, stole second and scored on a double by Nick Williams.
After Cameron Rupp was intentionally walked, Eflin looped an RBI single to center field to score Williams.
Philadelphia scored three times in the fifth to extend its advantage to 5-1. Maikel Franco doubled home Freddy Galvis, and Hererra followed with a two-run homer into the Chop House restaurant in right field.
“I don’t know how that guy hit the ball,” Snitker said. “It about bounced.”
Teheran said, “It was a pitch I wanted to throw. I don’t know how he hit that ball. He’s pretty good, but it was a pretty good pitch, too.”
Teheran has failed to pitch past the fifth inning in his last three starts against the Phillies and has a 12.51 ERA during that stretch.
Herrera has now hit safely in 15 consecutive games against the Braves. He has a hit and a run in the last 10 meetings.
Braves left-hander Max Fried made his major league debut with two scoreless innings of relief.
NOTES: The Phillies placed C Andrew Knapp on the 10-day disabled list with a right-hand contusion. Manager Pete Mackanin said a small fracture was discovered and Knapp would be out “a couple of weeks.” ... Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said LF Matt Kemp (right hamstring) was cleared to begin baseball activities. There is no timetable for Kemp’s return. He has been out since July 29. ... Atlanta SS Johan Camargo suffered a bone bruise to his right knee in a freak injury while taking the field in the first inning. Camargo tripped while trying to step over the first base line and fell to the ground holding the knee. He had to be helped off the field. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Atlanta will likely recall SS Dansby Swanson to fill the vacancy. ... The Braves had a moment of silence in honor of former Philadelphia C Darren Daulton and former Atlanta hitting coach Don Baylor. Both men died last weekend.