MILWAUKEE (AP) — Zach Eflin has made all the difference for the Philadelphia Phillies against the National League’s top team.
Rhys Hoskins and Andrew Knapp hit home runs and Eflin beat the Milwaukee Brewers for the second time in a week, helping the Phillies strand 15 runners in a 4-1 victory on Saturday.
Philadelphia is 2-3 against NL-leading Milwaukee this season, allowing 37 runs over the three losses. Both victories have been pitched — and pitched well — by Eflin.
“Very efficient, very poised,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of his starter.
Eflin (4-2) gave up one run in five innings.
“I kind of got in a little funk in the first inning but was able to put that behind me and put up four solid frames after that,” Eflin said.
He was removed for a pinch-hitter in the sixth after throwing only 73 pitches.
“Obviously, if his spot doesn’t come up in the lineup there, we send him back out and try to get more length out of him because he was that good today,” Kapler said.
Milwaukee scored 13 runs against the Phillies in a win Friday night before being stymied by Eflin and four relievers. Hector Neris pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 13 chances.
The Brewers scored in the first on Travis Shaw’s single.
Hoskins hit a towering home run in the fourth off the window of a restaurant on Miller Park’s third level to tie it. Junior Guerra (3-5) had retired eight in a row before Hoskins, who also doubled, singled and walked, hit his ninth homer.
“Obviously, he set the tone with the big home run to left field,” Kapler said. “It is incredibly important for us to have him swinging the bat like he is.”
The Phillies took the lead in the fifth on Knapp’s leadoff homer to straightaway center.
“I am not trying to go and hit home runs,” Knapp said. “That is not who I am, but it is nice to pop one every once in a while.”
Eflin gave up three hits, struck out six and walked one. He helped his cause by picking off Lorenzo Cain at first base with one out in the fourth.
Philadelphia extended its lead in the sixth when J.P. Crawford drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk from reliever Boone Logan — Milwaukee pitchers walked a season-high 10. Cesar Hernandez followed with an infield single.
“Too many walks, period,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “The walks are going to bite you for sure.”
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