Phillies' bats go silent in Aaron Nola's final start before All-Star break

Phillies' bats go silent in Aaron Nola's final start before All-Star break

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MIAMI — Despite having a winning record 10 games into an 11-game road trip that will take them to the All-Star break, the Phillies have not scorched the baseball.

Sure, they scored 17 runs in beating Pittsburgh in the first game of the trip, but in nine games since then, they have scored just 24 runs.

On Saturday, the offense ground to a halt and the Phils were shut out, 2-0, by the Miami Marlins. It was the first time the Phillies had lost a game started by Aaron Nola since June 6. It was also the second time they had been shut out in the last four games.

Nola had a fairly amazing start. He labored through the first inning and gave up three hits, a walk and two runs while throwing 31 pitches. Over the next five innings, however, he gave up just one hit and no runs while throwing an economical 62 pitches. In other words, he rebounded well and kept his team in the game. The offense just could not generate any runs. The Phils had eight hits on the day but seven of them were singles. The Marlins had just four hits.

Miami right-hander Trevor Richards gave up just four hits over six innings and got the win.

The Phillies’ best chance at getting something going came in the fifth inning. Jorge Alfaro led off with a double and moved to third on a bunt by Nola. With two outs, Rhys Hoskins lined a ball to the gap in right-center. The ball had extra-base hit written all over it until centerfielder Cameron Maybin sprinted from his position and made a nice leaping catch at the wall. 

The Phillies showed some signs of life with a pair of hits in the ninth, but they stranded both men.

Nola had not taken a loss since May 20 at St. Louis. He goes into the All-Star break at 12-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 20 starts.

Nola will be the Phillies’ lone representative at the All-Star Game in Washington Tuesday night. He is expected to pitch an inning.

The Phils, 6-4 on the trip, can still win the series with a victory Sunday.

Enyel De Los Santos gets the start against Jose Urena. Zach Eflin was originally scheduled to start but was scratched because of a blister.

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A quiet loss, but a successful weekend in Pittsburgh for the Phillies

A quiet loss, but a successful weekend in Pittsburgh for the Phillies

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PITTSBURGH — The Phillies have 28 come-from-behind wins so you could say they had the Pittsburgh Pirates right where they wanted them Sunday afternoon.

Down by three runs, the Phils got the first two runners on base in the top of the sixth inning with the middle of the batting order due up.

The Phils came away with nothing in the inning as Pirates starter Nick Kingham got Carlos Santana to pop up before striking out Nick Williams and Scott Kingery.

And so went the Phillies’ best chance to get something going in what turned out to be a 4-1 loss at PNC Park.

Despite seeing their six-game winning streak come to an end, the Phillies had a pretty successful weekend in Pittsburgh. They won two of three and claimed a share of first place in the NL East as they head to New York for four games with the Mets and a series-opening doubleheader Monday.

Zach Eflin and probable All-Star Aaron Nola will start Monday’s game for the Phillies. On Sunday, the Phillies needed to reach down to Triple A for a starting pitcher. Drew Anderson got the call by virtue of being on the 40-man roster. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed eight hits and four runs over five innings and took a loss in his first major-league start.

Cesar Hernandez was held out of the starting lineup for the second day in a row — he struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth — after taking a foul ball off his right foot Friday night.

Manager Gabe Kapler used catcher Andrew Knapp in the leadoff spot. It was the first time in the live-ball era (starting in 1920) that a Phillies catcher batted leadoff.

Knapp went 0 for 4, but that didn’t make him unique. The Phillies had just four hits on the day. They struck out 12 times and went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. Their only run came on a 422-foot solo homer from Nick Williams in the fourth.

Kingham, who had been hit hard in his previous start, a loss in Los Angeles, held the Phillies to four hits and a run over six innings of work. He helped his own cause with a two-out, two-run double against Anderson in the fourth inning.

Roster note

To make room for Anderson on the roster, the Phillies sent reliever Yacksel Rios to Triple A.

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Phillies beat Pirates to win 6th straight behind 7th-inning rally

Phillies beat Pirates to win 6th straight behind 7th-inning rally

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PITTSBURGH — The Phillies are on a rampage.

After sleepwalking through the first six innings Saturday afternoon, they rallied for three two-out runs in the seventh inning to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2, on a sun-splashed day at picturesque PNC Park.

The victory was the Phillies’ sixth in a row and eighth in the last nine games as they remained tied atop the National League East with the Atlanta Braves.

The Phillies are 6-0 against the Pirates this season and 49-37 overall. They will go for a series sweep — their first ever at PNC Park — and their 50th win on Sunday afternoon.

Last season, the Phils did not notch their 50th win until August 31.

Jake Arrieta earned Saturday’s pitching win, his first since May 29, with seven innings of two-run ball. He walked one and struck out eight. The right-hander had carried an ERA of 6.16 over his previous six starts into the outing.

Arrieta threw a wild pitch in the first inning. That and an unsuccessful infield shift cost him a run in the first inning. In the third inning, he gave up a solo homer to Starling Marte to fall behind, 2-0. He allowed just one base runner the remainder of his outing.

The Phils, who won the series opener, 17-5, on Friday night, did little against Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon over the first six innings. The right-hander allowed just three singles over the first 6 1/3 innings.

With two outs in the seventh and Carlos Santana on first base via a fielder’s choice, the Phillies’ offense finally awakened. Nick Williams stroked an RBI triple into the right-field corner and Scott Kingery, who had four hits Friday night, followed with a first-pitch base hit up the middle to tie the game. Taillon exited for Edgar Santana. Jorge Alfaro greeted him with a go-ahead double to right-center.

Arrieta put up a zero in the bottom of the seventh and manager Kapler went to a rested Seranthony Dominguez in the bottom of the eighth inning. Dominguez pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two. He exited for a pinch-hitter (Andrew Knapp struck out) after the Phils loaded the bases in the top of the ninth. Victor Arano came on for the bottom of the inning and gave up a leadoff double to Corey Dickerson on an 0-2 pitch. Arano then came back with three straight outs (two strikeouts and a fly ball to center) to pick up a tough save.

Notes
• Drew Anderson will be called up from Triple A to start Sunday’s series finale. He was scratched from his start Saturday. The Phils play a doubleheader in New York on Monday, which Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin will start. The Phillies could then add someone for Tuesday. Vince Velasquez is on the disabled list, but he is expected to be able to come off the DL and pitch Wednesday in New York.

• Cesar Hernandez did not start. He took a foul ball off the right foot Friday night. Manager Gabe Kapler said he was just using caution in holding Hernandez out. Hernandez appeared as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.

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