The Phillies needed a bounce-back game Wednesday night and so did Rhys Hoskins.
They both got one.
The Phillies, behind Hoskins’ power bat and Zach Eflin’s seven shutout innings, broke a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park. The victory allowed the Phils to salvage a game in the series after losing the first two by a combined score of 10-2.
Eflin won his fifth straight start.
The Phillies’ offense often goes as Hoskins goes. He went 0 for 8 with four strikeouts in the first two games of the series. The Phils had just nine hits and were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position in those games.
The Phils’ problems with runners in scoring position continued as they left the bases loaded after a pair of strikeouts in the first inning Wednesday night.
But Hoskins broke the trend in the second inning. He took advantage of a two-out walk to Cesar Hernandez and clubbed a three-run homer off Luis Cessa on a 1-2 breaking ball. The homer was Hoskins’ 12th of the season and it went to the opposite field.
Eleven of Hoskins’ homers this season have given the Phillies a lead.
Hoskins’ latest homer also carried some franchise significance. It was the 30th homer of the 25-year-old slugger’s career and it came in his 119th game. No one in franchise history has reached 30 homers faster (see story). Hall of Famer Chuck Klein did it in 132 games. Ryan Howard did it in 134.
While Hoskins’ homer was to be celebrated, it was somewhat troubling that it represented the extent of the Phillies’ scoring. The Phils had trouble sustaining and finished 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. They were twice victimized by excellent defensive plays by the Yankees’ outfield.
Eflin and the bullpen made the team’s three runs stand up. Eflin gave up just four singles and walked two. He struck out six. The Yankees, who lead baseball in OPS and home runs, rested Aaron Judge, but that did not diminish Eflin’s work. He threw just 92 pitches before manager Gabe Kapler went to his bullpen kill shot, Seranthony Dominguez, for a six-out save.
Eflin, who turned 24 in April, completed a sensational month of June. He went 5-0 and allowed just six earned runs in 30 2/3 innings for a 1.76 ERA (see story). The knock on Eflin has been that he doesn’t miss enough bats. But since adding strength to his legs and velocity to his fastball, he has been missing more bats. For the month, he gave up 24 hits, walked six and struck out 28. He did not give up a home run.
Pat Neshek (shoulder, forearm) will make another minor-league rehab start on Friday.
Luis Garcia (wrist) will throw in the bullpen Friday and could be ready to go on Sunday.