Zache Eflin struggles again as Phillies fall
Zach Eflin has had a rough month, and things were not any better on Saturday as the hurler was throttled by the Braves in a 15-7 loss on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Eflin failed to get out of the third inning, surrendering a pair of two-run homers to Ender Inciarte and Ronald Acuna Jr. in what turned out to be a seven-run inning for Atlanta. All told, he allowed 10 runs (six earned) over 2 2/3 innings. His ERA over his last three outings is 11.37.

Eflin, who mentioned his body felt heavy this week, said afterward he felt fine.

“He’s having a hard time hitting his spots, and these teams are really good,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Tonight it looked like his velocity was there. Some of the sliders had bite to them. It wasn’t necessarily carrying through the zone like it does at times, but certainly we didn’t see any major dip in velocity.”

The loss dropped the Phils to 7 1/2 games behind Atlanta in the NL East. It's a troubling sight for a club that hoped to make a statement at home this weekend.

“They have played better baseball than us,” Kapler said. “They have [beaten] us handily. It’s unacceptable. We have to be better. We’re a much better baseball team than we’ve shown against the Braves. We have to get better quickly.”

The Phillies will turn to ace Aaron Nola on Sunday to attempt to avoid a sweep. He's carrying a 1.51 ERA over his last seven starts.

"Tomorrow is a big game," Kapler said. "It’s really important that we salvage this series.”
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