Long ball dooms Phillies again; club falls to third place after loss in Atlanta

Eflin rocked as Braves down Phillies
The Phillies jumped ahead early, but the long ball proved again to be an enemy on Thursday as the Braves walloped five homers en route to a 12-6 win over the Phillies at SunTrust Park.

The loss capped a series defeat for the Phils.

Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson hit two home runs and finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs.

The Phillies scored four times in the opening frame against Braves hurler Mike Soroka, but Zach Eflin went on to last just three innings for the Phils while allowing seven runs, six earned, on seven hits and two walks. He also surrendered a pair of homers.

“At the end of the day, we have to get control of the home run ball,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters afterward. “It's not something that is acceptable to us. This level of play, we can't keep it going. We have to do a better job than this. The first thing we have to get a handle on is keeping the ball in the ballpark.”

Edgar Garcia surrendered back-to-back homers to Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson in the fourth, allowing the Braves to open up a five-run lead.

The Phillies have allowed 150 homers so far this year, putting the club on pace to surrender nearly 280 on the year. The record of most homers allowed in a season belongs to the Reds who surrendered 258 in 2016.



"We have to do better," Kapler said.

In addition to the concern surrounding the long ball, Eflin has struggled significantly as of late. Over his last seven starts, he's just 2-4 with a 5.45 ERA. He also has a WHIP during that span of 1.55.

The club now heads to New York for a three-game set with the Mets to wrap up the first half of the season prior to the All-Star break. The club now sits in third place in the NL East, 6 1/2 games behind the Braves.

“We win as a team. We lose as a team,” Kapler said. “This is never something where we scapegoat any one particular department, one particular individual. We're in this together. We fight as a team.”
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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