Zach Eflin strikes out nine as Phillies avoid sweep by Brewers

Zach Eflin’s afternoon could have ended after he managed to record the third out in the top of fifth inning of the 4-3 win over Milwaukee. He allowed two runs in the inning, hit two batters and took a 102 mph line-drive off his throwing hand. It seemed like chance to lift Eflin before his outing went off the rails.

But Gabe Kapler elected to stick with Eflin for one more inning. The Phillies need to find out what they have in the righthander, and there’s no better test than adversity. Eflin responded by striking out the side in the next inning and helped his place in the starting rotation feel a bit more secure.

Those three strikeouts in the sixth — Travis Shaw, Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar — came against the heart of the Brewers lineup. All went down swinging.

Eflin’s performance ended a four-game losing streak and helped the team avoid its first sweep at home this season. A win on Tuesday — the Phillies are off Monday — would give the Phils consecutive wins for the first time since May 16-17.

Eflin allowed just two runs on three hits in six innings. His last two starts have come against the National League Central’s top two teams. And Eflin has come away with a 1.98 ERA against the Brewers and Cubs. His rotation spot feels much more secure than it did two weeks ago when he was roughed up by the Blue Jays and Dodgers.

Seranthony Dominguez allowed one run, throwing 41 pitches to finish the seventh and eighth innings. Luis Garcia and Tommy Hunter handled the ninth.

J.P. Crawford reached base twice and Rhys Hoskins, playing with a fractured jaw, drove in two runs. He has five RBIs in his first two games since returning from the disabled list, which equals the amount he had in his 67 plate appearances since heading to the DL.

from Sports


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