Aaron Nola outduels Zach Eflin, Phillies take game one in Tampa 3-1
The Philadelphia Phillies started their six game road trip to yesterday, winning 3-1 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Aaron Nola was on the mound going up against one of his best friends and former member of the Phillies, Zach Eflin.
In case you have been living under a rock or just stumbled across this article while surfing the internet, Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin were teammates for the past seven seasons before Eflin signed with the Tampa Bay Rays during the offseason.
Nola spoke about pitching against his best friend after yesterday’s win.
“Honestly it kind of felt like when I faced my brother. The emotion, the nerves — it was awesome.”
Aaron Nola: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12K
On the mound, Nola was dominant, pitching 7.1 innings while allowing five hits and one earned run. He struck out 12 batters, tying a career high.
Zach Eflin, who has been fantastic in Tampa this season, pitched 7.0 innings, allowing four hits, two earned runs, and zero walks while striking out nine.
Unfortunately for our old friend, Nola got the best of him yesterday, as the Phillies offense did just enough to earn a tough win against the Rays. Alec Bohm got the Phillies on the board early, hitting a line drive double to centerfielder Jose Siri to score Bryson Stott.
That was the only run until the seventh inning for either team. Bryson Stott added some insurance on a ground ball to right field that scored Bryce Harper to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead.
Bryce Harper added another run in the eighth to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead before Nola coughed one up in the bottom of the eighth on a solo shot by Wander Franco.
In relief of Nola, Jose Alvarado pitched scoreless 0.2 innings before Craig Kimbrel entered the game and shut the door on the Rays to save the game for the Phillies.
Note: Craig Kimbrel has not allowed an earned run since June 8th against the Detroit Tigers. He now has 13 saves on the season.
As for the Phillies, they have won 10 straight games on the road, which is their longest road winning streak since a franchise record 13-game streak since 1976. They are now 45-39 on the season, 2.5 games back from the second place Miami Marlins, while still 11.5 back of the Atlanta Braves in first place.
In the NL Wild Card, the Phillies are finally a playoff team, leapfrogging the San Francisco Giants who have lost four straight games for the final spot.
Taijuan Walker (9-3, 3.93) will face Zack Little in Tampa tonight at 6:40PM followed by Cristopher Sanchez (0-2, 3.26) on Thursday.