Hoskins and Eflin lift Phillies to win over Braves; extend win streak to five games

Zach Eflin impresses for Phillies in win
Rhys Hoskins led the offense with three hits, including a three-run homer, and Zach Eflin tossed seven solid innings to lead the Phillies to a 4-1 win over the Braves on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.

The win extended the Phils winning streak to five games and trimmed their deficit to the division-leading Braves in the NL East to two games.

Philadelphia last won five straight games in August of 2018.

Eflin was masterful with his curve, recording six punchouts on the pitch. He was aggressive and notched eight total on the day, surrendering one run on four hits. It was the most comfortable he's looked all season.

“I’m not flipping it over for strikes anymore,” Eflin said of his newfound confidence in his curve. “I’m being aggressive with it and trying to create as much spin as possible with it. I think that’s complementing all my other pitches. It’s a confidence pitch. I trust it, just like I do with all of my weapons. We’re going to continue to use it. Now, it’s really kind of grip and rip -- think fastball the whole time and accelerate through the pitch. It’s been a huge learning point for me. I’m happy where it’s at, and I’m happy to continue moving forward with it.”

Eflin would have pitched beyond the seventh, but rain halted play for a 37-minute delay in the bottom of the seventh.

“He was ahead in the count, was spotting his fastball and had them on the defense,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “Today he had it all.”

Hoskins hit his three-run blast in the fifth, putting an end to Josh Tomlin's day. He's now 7-for-21 with three homers and six RBIs during the five-game winning streak.

“We’re starting to see the fruits of the hard work that he and (hitting coach) Joe (Dillon) have put in,” Girardi said. “We love what he’s doing.”

The two clubs complete their three-game set on Sunday. Jake Arrieta will be on the mound for the Phillies, opposing Huascar Ynoa.

Injury update
Girardi said prior to Saturday's contest that reliever David Robertson (elbow) will be shut down for the season following a setback from Tommy John surgery. Robertson signed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Phillies in January 2019, but he has pitched just 6 2/3 innings.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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