PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With a hospital band wrapped around his right wrist, Freddy Galvis welcomed his second daughter with a long ball.
Aaron Nola struck out eight in seven splendid innings, Galvis and Maikel Franco hit two-run homers and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 Monday night.
Despite only sleeping a couple hours because his daughter, Nicole, was born at 5:53 in the morning, Galvis swung at the first pitch he saw and hit a shot estimated at 417 feet into the second deck in right field to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead in the first off Ivan Nova (8-6).
“It was a good day,” Galvis said with a big smile. “Just trying to do one thing at a time.”
After Galvis reached on a bunt single his next time up, Franco ripped a liner out to left to make it 4-0 in the third.
Nola (6-5) allowed four hits and none until Jordy Mercer lined a double down the left-field line with two outs in the fifth. Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris completed the four-hitter.
“First pitch strikes and getting the leadoff hitter out,” Nola said about the keys to his success. “Just tried to stay with my game plan.”
Nola used offspeed pitches, including a sharp curve, to keep hitters off-balance throughout the game. He fanned pinch-hitter John Jaso with a curve ball on his final pitch, leaving two runners on base.
Nola is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA in his last three starts.
“Nola was outstanding,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He’s had several good outings. I think he’s turned the corner and pitching the way he’s capable. He threw a couple different types of curve balls and the changeup is becoming a good pitch for him.”
Nova gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings. He allowed more than three earned runs for only the fourth time in 17 starts.
“He wasn’t sharp coming out of the gate,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He had a couple of missed locations that cost him four runs.”
The Pirates (37-46) are 7 1/2 games behind NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
The Phillies (28-53) finished the first half with the worst record in the majors, but have won four of the last six.
Philadelphia’s Phillies starters have recorded a quality start in 11 of their last 15 games since June 17. They have a 3.26 ERA in that span.
“There’s competition within the competition,” Mackanin said. “If they continue to pitch well, we’ll be much-improved.”
Galvis is batting .338 (22 for 65) with six extra-base hits since June 17. He has raised his average 22 points in that span. … Franco has four home runs in his last 14 games after hitting just one in his previous 26 games.
The Pirates sent RHP Edgar Santana to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for C Francisco Cervelli. Santana had a 5.87 ERA in nine appearances.
Pirates: Cervelli was reinstated from the disabled list and returned to the lineup after suffering a concussion last month. Cervelli initially missed one week, returned for four games and went back on the DL with post-concussion symptoms.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff makes his first rehab start Tuesday at Double-A Reading. He’s been sidelined by an upper back strain since June 20.
RHP Jameson Taillon (4-2, 2.97 ERA) starts for the Pirates on Tuesday afternoon while RHP Mark Leiter Jr. (1-0, 4.20) goes for Philadelphia.
More AP Baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.