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Pretty Eflin Good: Phillies 5, Braves 2

The Phillies improved their record to 10-2 against the NL East foe.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies began a brief two-game series against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on Tuesday. They’ve dominated the Braves so far this year, going 9-2 over the first 11 meetings.

Atlanta paid their respects to Don Baylor and Darren Daulton - both of whom recently passed away from cancer - prior to the ballgame.

Much respect to the Braves organization for this.

Zach Eflin (8 GS, 0-3, 6.13 ERA) got the start for the Phillies after being recalled from Lehigh Valley earlier on Tuesday. He took Andrew Knapp’s roster spot after Knapp was placed on the 10-day DL (retroactive to 8/4) with a right-hand contusion that was later deemed a fractured right hand. Eflin was opposed by Julio Teheran (22 GS, 7-9, 5.10 ERA).

The game started out with an extremely unusual occurrence. Braves shortstop Johan Camargo injured his right knee while running out onto the field in the 1st inning. He tripped near the first base line and needed to be helped off the field and into the clubhouse. There were reports that Dansby Swanson was removed from triple-A Gwinnett’s game after Camargo went down, so it’s likely we will be seeing him tomorrow.

Hope he’s going to be fine because damn, that is just a brutal and bizarre injury if serious.

Freddie Freeman got the scoring started in this one (because why wouldn’t he) after hitting a solo home run to right field in the 1st inning.

Nick Williams knocked in the first run for the Phils when he doubled to center field to tie the game up at 1. Then, after an intentional walk to Cameron Rupp, Eflin helped out his own cause by singling up the middle to drive in Williams and give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.

Maikel Franco increased the lead to 2 when he singled down the right field line to score Freddy Galvis. There was then one on and one out when Odubel Herrera stepped to the plate following Franco’s 5th inning single. He proceeded to golf one way out to right that gave the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Seriously, how did he hit this out?

Notice the bat flip, because it was beautiful.

Eflin, after allowing the solo shot to Freeman in the 1st, was cruising through his outing until the 7th inning rolled around. Nick Markakis walked on four pitches to lead off the inning, then a single by Kurt Suzuki put two on with no one out. Matt Adams knocked in Markakis when he singled to make the score 5-2.

Eflin did a good job of limiting the damage, however, as he retired the next three batters on a pair of fly outs and a ground out. The 7th would be Eflin’s last inning in his first start with the Phils since May 28.

That closed out the scoring in this one as Hoby Milner and Hector Neris pitched a scorless 8th and 9th, respectively, to secure the win. Milner picked up his first hold while Neris recorded his 12th save of the season.

If I may propose something: The Philadelphia Phillies will hereby play the Atlanta Braves for the rest of the 2017 season. Sound good?

Some quick notes:

  • Cesar Hernandez extended his hit streak to 12 games after he doubled to lead off the game.
  • Odubel Herrera extended his hit streak to 11 games with his 5th inning home run. He also finished with a video game stat line — 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1B, 2B, HR, BB, 2 SB — to raise his season batting average to .282, the highest it’s been since April 19 (.292).
  • The Phillies improved their record against the NL East this year to 22-19. The .537 win % among the division is second to only the Nationals (28-20, .583 win %).
  • Eflin’s final line in his first start back: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 89 pitches (63 strikes)