Zach Eflin and the Phillies are on a roll.
Eflin pitched seven strong innings for his sixth straight victory Taron Johnson Color Rush Jersey , Andrew Knapp had the winning hit for the second straight game and Philadelphia beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Tuesday night for its 11th win in 16 games.
Rhys Hoskins had a two-run double, rookie Seranthony Dominguez pitched four outs for his eighth save and Maikel Franco made a game-saving defensive play for the Phillies, who pulled within 2 1/2 games of the Braves for first place in the NL East.
”It was a great team win,” Eflin said.
Eflin (7-2) allowed two runs and five hits with six strikeouts and no walks to become the first Phillies pitcher since Cliff Lee in 2011 to record six consecutive wins. The right-hander has a 1.91 ERA while striking out 34 and walking six in 37 2/3 innings over that stretch.
”More aggressive and trusting my pitches,” Eflin said.
The Phillies bullpen preserved the win, but it got interesting.
Tommy Hunter got the first two outs of the eighth before manager Gabe Kapler went to Dominguez with Orioles star Manny Machado up.
”One of the best hitters in the game, you try to neutralize him with your best bullet,” Kapler said.
Dominguez walked Machado and Mark Trumbo to load the bases for Chris Davis. Franco made a stellar diving play to his right at third base to snare Davis’ ground ball before throwing him out at first to keep the Phillies ahead 3-2. The out was upheld after an Orioles challenge.
”Play of the game,” Kapler said. ”Got us the win.”
Franco, who has been in and out of the lineup this season, cherished the out.
”I just tried to make a good play and make a good throw,” he said. ”I wanted that play so bad.”
Trumbo homered for Baltimore, which has dropped eight of nine.
”The effort was there,” Trumbo said. ”The frustration, it’s as much as you make of it.”
The game was delayed 1 hour, 25 minutes due to rain and played mostly under a persistent drizzle.
Philadelphia took a one-run lead in the fourth on Knapp’s two-out triple to right off Alex Cobb (2-10) that scored Nick Williams. Knapp, Philadelphia’s backup catcher, started two days after his game-ending homer in the 13th lifted the Phillies over the Nationals 4-3.
Cobb gave up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 6 2/3 innings.
Trumbo staked Baltimore to a 1-0 lead by crushing Eflin’s 94 mph fastball into the seats in left in the second.
Philadelphia went in front 2-1 in the third on Hoskins’ two-out double off the wall in left that scored Franco and Cesar Hernandez.
CHEERS FOR MANNY
Machado Jeremy Kerley Color Rush Jersey , speculated to be a target of the Phillies either via trade or free agency, was loudly cheered when he was introduced by PA announcer Dan Baker prior to the contest.
Eflin was pulled after just 82 pitches, and Kapler said that was partly because of a blister on Eflin’s right middle finger. Eflin said he was ready and able to continue if asked. Eflin was hampered consistently by blisters last season, but Tuesday was his first time dealing with one this year.
Orioles: OF Colby Rasmus has been placed on the restricted list after informing the club that he was leaving the team. Rasmus has struggled with a left hip injury for two seasons. He was hitting .133 with one homer in 18 games this season after signing a one-year, $3 million deal in the offseason. … INF Steve Wilkerson (left oblique) was placed on the 10-day DL. Wilkerson, who is 4 for 17 since making his debut June 20, was injured in Sunday’s 8-2 win over the Angels.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (right lat strain) will throw live batting practice Wednesday. He has been out all season. … Reliever Edubray Ramos (right shoulder impingement), who has been on the DL since June 25, threw a bullpen Tuesday and could be activated on Friday.
Baltimore rookie RHP Yefry Ramirez (0-1, 2.89) will make his second start and third appearance with the Orioles against Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (10-2, 2.48) on Wednesday afternoon.
Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer during a six-run fifth inning, J.D. Martinez and Eduardo Nunez also went deep, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Washington Nationals 11-4 on Tuesday.
Martinez drove in four and leads the majors with 26 homers and 71 RBIs. Boston has won 17 of its last 19 interleague games.
Washington has lost four straight and 16 of 21 to fall to 42-42, its first time at .500 since it was 17-17.
Red Sox starter Brian Johnson allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings. Brandon Workman (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh.
Nationals starter Tanner Roark (3-10) allowed a career-high nine runs in seven innings and is 1-8 with a 5.19 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) since May 5.
YANKEES 8, BRAVES 5
NEW YORK (AP) – Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka each homered and New York went ahead early and hung on to beat Atlanta.
Aaron Judge had two hits and a walk, and he stole two bases for the first time in his career. Hicks also walked twice as New York drew eight free passes.
The Yankees improved to a major league-best 21-6 against left-handed starters and remain a game behind Boston for the majors’ best record.
Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte each hit two-run homers for Atlanta, which ended a four-game winning streak. Braves starter Sean Newcomb allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings in the shortest start of his career.
A.J. Cole (2-0) pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief to earn the win.
DODGERS 8 Trent Murphy Color Rush Jersey , PIRATES 3
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Clayton Kershaw earned his first win in 2 months, five Dodgers homered including Max Muncy with a pair, and Los Angeles beat Pittsburgh.
Ivan Nova (4-6) became the first pitcher in Pirates history to give up five homers in a game. Pittsburgh has been outscored 25-4 in the first two games of the series.
The Dodgers have 11 homers three days into July and 122 so far this season after slugging a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.
Kershaw (2-4) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings of his third start since coming off the disabled list. The left-handed ace struck out two and didn’t walk anyone to earn his first victory since April 15 at Arizona. He had two losses and four straight no-decisions since then.
Kershaw had not gone as late as July 3 with just one win since his rookie year in 2008. That year he didn’t earn his second victory until Aug. 7.
MARINERS 4, ANGELS 1
SEATTLE (AP) – Wade LeBlanc allowed one run over seven innings and Seattle beat Los Angeles for its eighth straight victory.
The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani was activated from the 10-day disabled list and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his return. He had been sidelined since June 8 with a Grade 2 ulnar collateral ligament sprain.
The Mariners announced they signed LeBlanc (4-0) to a contract extension before his start and the soft-tossing left-hander showed them they made a good decision. LeBlanc allowed three hits, struck out four and retired his final 11 batters.
Andrew Heaney (4-6) tied a career high with 10 strikeouts, but was tagged with three runs in the first inning to fall behind and was handed the loss.
DIAMONDBACKS 4, CARDINALS 2
PHOENIX (AP) – Paul Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer, Zack Greinke pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Arizona ended a four-game losing streak by beating St. Louis.
Goldschmidt followed a four-hit night Monday with a three-run homer off Jack Flaherty (3-4) in the fifth inning. The NL player of the month for June, Goldschmidt is hitting .413 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs his past 26 games.
Greinke (9-5) gave up two runs in the second inning to end his 13-inning scoreless streak but was otherwise sharp in winning his fourth straight game. Yoshihisa Hirano needed one pitch to get a groundout with the bases loaded in the seventh and extend his team record with a 26th straight scoreless appearance.
Brad Boxberger worked around a walk in the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.
INDIANS 6, ROYALS 4
KANSAS CITY (AP) – Yan Gomes hit a sixth-inning grand slam as Cleveland rallied to beat Kansas City.
The Indians lead the AL with eight grand slams. Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam Monday.
Edwin Encarnacion led off the sixth with a walk and Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch from Danny Duffy (4-8). Yonder Alonso’s infield single loaded the bases. Gomes drove a 1-0 Duffy pitch into the left-field bullpen.
Chad Allen got the final four outs for his 17th save in 18 chances. He stranded two runners in the ninth after a single and a walk.
Shane Bieber (4-0) picked up the victory and remains undefeated in his first five big league starts.
PHILLIES 3, ORIOLES 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Zach Eflin pitched seven strong innings for his sixth straight victory and Andrew Knapp had the winning hit for the second straight game.
Rhys Hoskins had a two-run double for the Phillies, who have won 11 of 16.
Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, which has dropped eight of nine.
The game was delayed at the start 1 hour, 25 minutes due to rain and mostly played under a persistent drizzle.
Eflin (7-2) allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks to become the first Phillies pitcher since Cliff Lee in 2011 to record six consecutive wins.
Orioles starter Alex Cobb (2-10) gave up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 6 2/3 innings.
CUBS 5, TIGERS 3
CHICAGO (AP) – Anthony Rizzo drove in his second run of the game in the seventh inning to snap a tie, Kyle Schwarber followed with a solo homer in the eighth and Chicago rebounded from an early three-run deficit to edge Detroit f