The Phillies received an excellent starting pitching performance, some good at-bats in key moments of the game and quality relief work in earning a much-needed 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon.
Zach Eflin turned in his second straight strong start with six innings of two-run ball. He gave up just three hits, a walk and struck out nine. The Phillies, outscored 24-7 by the Brewers in the first two games of the series, scratched out three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a two-run lead and manager Gabe Kapler didn’t mess around: He went to his best bullpen weapon, Seranthony Dominguez, in the top of the seventh. Dominguez allowed a run but got the six outs Kapler was looking for.
Things got hairy in the ninth after Luis Garcia allowed a pair of two-out hits but Tommy Hunter sealed the win by retiring Christian Yelich on a ground ball to second with runners on second and third.
The win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Phillies and was just their second victory in nine games. Eflin has earned both of those wins. He pitched 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball to beat the Cubs in Chicago on Tuesday night.
The Phillies were out-hit, 8-4, in the game. All four of their runs came home on something other than a base hit. Cesar Hernandez singled to open the bottom of the first, moved to third on an error and scored on a groundout by Rhys Hoskins.
The Phils scored three runs in the fifth inning on just one hit, a leadoff single by J.P. Crawford. They loaded the bases on an error and a fielder’s choice that did not produce an out. Crawford then drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game before Hoskins put the Phils ahead with a sacrifice fly to center field. Odubel Herrera pushed across an insurance run when he legged out a potential double-play ball. The run was an important contribution for Herrera, who is locked in a bad slump that has shrunk his batting average from an NL-best .361 entering play on May 18 to .288 after Sunday's 0 for 4.
Eflin threw 96 pitches and hit 96 mph on the radar gun. He got 11 swinging strikes. After the Phillies took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, he struck out the side for an important shutdown inning.
The Phillies head into Monday’s off day with a 33-30 record.