Nola and Phillies drop Game 6
PHILADELPHIA - The long ball hurt Aaron Nola plenty during the regular season, but things improved over the last month, and it appeared he put the issue behind him. Unfortunately for the Phillies, the problem surfaced again Monday night. 

And the timing could not have been worse. 

Back-to-back solo homers, one by Tommy Pham and the other by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., opened the second inning for Arizona and highlighted a three-run frame that set the tone for the evening. The Diamondbacks carried the early momentum to beat the Phillies in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park, 5-1. 

The series now is tied with the deciding Game 7 scheduled for Tuesday night in Philadelphia. It'll mark the first Game 7 in the club's 141-year history. 

"I'm just glad we're at home and able to play in front of our crowd," said Bryce Harper. "Only one game matters right now, and that's tomorrow." 

Nola entered Monday having coughed up just one homer over his previous 37 innings while surrendering just two earned runs over three postseason starts; both of those streaks came screeching to a halt over the span of four batters in the second inning. Following the two blasts, Alek Thomas worked a walk before Evan Longoria lashed an RBI double to left. 

Ketel Marte eventually chased Nola in the fifth following a one-out RBI triple. He surrendered four runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings, tying his second-shortest outing of the year. 

"It was a bad inning right there," Nola said. "They didn't miss any balls over the plate, and I threw too many balls over the plate tonight." 

Brandon Marsh drove in the lone run on the night for the Phillies with an RBI single in the second, pushing J.T. Realmuto across the plate after he opened the frame with a double.

Merrill Kelly was solid over five frames for Arizona, scattering three hits while surrendering one run. He walked three and whiffed eight. 

It's been an up-and-down series for the Phillies. Following two commanding victories, Arizona has won three of the last four. The Philadelphia offense that looked mighty early on has regressed, and the pitching, aside from Wheeler, hasn't been as crisp. Despite the seeming downward trend, the Phillies have a clubhouse full of veterans that should be able to recalibrate for a Game 7. 

"This is what you play for," said Kyle Schwarber. "Obviously, it sucked, right? You wish you could have gotten it done today, absolutely. But this is an exciting thing, and we're embracing it. We're in this spot, and we deserve to be in this spot. We have a chance now to play our best game tomorrow to move on to the World Series. That's a good team over across the way, and they have the same opportunity as us tomorrow, but it's going to be fun to put everyone's best efforts and best everything tomorrow. This is all we got."

The Phillies will turn to Ranger Suarez on Tuesday, while the Diamondbacks counter with Brandon Pfaadt. 

Pfaddt, a rookie right-hander, tossed the best game of his career in Game 3, hurling 5 2/3 scoreless innings while picking up nine strikeouts as Arizona cruised to their first win of the NLCS. 

"I thought he threw a really good game the other day," Harper said. "We just got to get him on the plate and do our damage when we can." 

As for Suarez, his calm demeanor and his postseason experience should prove to be an advantage for the Phillies. "I just go home, rest, sleep, and get ready for a special day tomorrow," Suarez said. "It's a Game 7 and there's going to be some pressure, but you have to not think about it and just play our game. That's it."

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