LOS ANGELES — A day that began with the Phillies learning that they’d likely be without Rhys Hoskins for a while ended with them suffering a one-sided loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
The Phillies were never in this one. The Dodgers hit Zach Eflin hard en route to an 8-2 win.
The Dodgers are hot. They have won 10 of their last 13, including two of three against the Phillies. The series concludes Thursday night with a good pitching matchup — Aaron Nola vs. Clayton Kershaw. The Phillies need a win to earn a series split before heading up the coast to San Francisco.
The Phillies’ bats did little against Dodgers starter Ross Stripling. The right-hander held the Phils to four hits and a run — a solo homer by Nick Williams — over seven innings.
Meanwhile, Eflin struggled from the outset. Despite striking out three batters in the first inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Joc Pederson and a two-out double to Matt Kemp as the Dodgers broke to a 1-0 lead.
Eflin had more problems in the third. He gave up a one-out homer to Max Muncy, walked the next batter and gave up a two-run homer to Kemp. The Dodgers scored again on Eflin in the fourth and he was done early.
It was an up-and-down month for Eflin. He came up from Triple A on May 1 and gave up just one run over 12 2/3 innings in his first two starts. Since then, he has made three starts and been tagged for 19 hits and 12 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.
The Phillies are 30-23. They entered the game in third place in the NL East, just a game behind first-place Atlanta and a half game behind second-place Washington. Atlanta lost its game against the Mets while Washington defeated Baltimore. So the Nationals are now in first place in the division, a half game up on Atlanta and the Phillies are in third, 1½ games back.
Earlier Wednesday, it was learned that Hoskins had suffered a broken jaw when he fouled a ball off his face Monday night. He will be examined in Philadelphia on Thursday and a trip to the disabled list is a virtual certainty (see story).
Pedro Florimon went on the DL with a broken foot. Mitch Walding came up from Triple A to take Florimon’s spot. He struck out four times in his big-league debut. In all, Phillies hitters struck out 13 times.