By The Sports Xchange
PHILADELPHIA — Zach Eflin carried the Phillies with his first complete game, and four Philadelphia solo home runs were more than enough to deliver the rookie right-hander his first career win, 5-1 over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.
Peter Bourjos, Cody Asche, Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph all went deep for the Phillies (39-46), who won for the seventh time in eight games to creep closer to .500 with the All-Star break only five games away.
That was all the edge Eflin needed. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound right-hander efficiently worked his way through the Atlanta lineup, needing just 35 pitches to get through four innings and 60 to get through the first six, setting him up nicely to go the distance.
Eflin (1-2) threw 92 pitches in nine innings, the first time in five career starts he got past the sixth. He gave up six hits but countered that with six strikeouts and no walks.
The entire game was played in a blazingly quick two hours and eight minutes.
After a disappointing June 14 debut (2 2/3 innings, eight earned runs against the Toronto Blue Jays), Eflin is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA in his past four starts.
Atlanta’s only run of the night came, fittingly, on a solo home run, Ender Inciarte’s first of the season, which came in the seventh.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz (2-3) was responsible for all five Phillies runs as his ERA rose to 4.29. He departed after 5 2/3 innings, having given up eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
It was a lot of the same for the Braves (28-56), losers of three in a row and seven of nine.
Bourjos set the tone early, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 14 games with a solo home run to left field in the first inning to put his team up 1-0.
After batting .164 in April and with his average as low at .197 on June 12, Bourjos has gone on an absolute tear over the last month. A 1-for-4 night on Tuesday left his average at .277 on the season, and he is batting .463 (32-for-69) over a 22-game stretch since June 12.
The Phillies expanded the lead in the fourth inning thanks. Asche hit his fifth homer of the year and second in three games.
Franco, who followed Asche with a single, came around to score three batters later on a sacrifice fly by Freddy Galvis.
The lead reached 5-0 in the sixth. Franco homered for the third game in a row, and Joseph went deep two batters later, sending a first-pitch slider to straightaway center.
NOTES: The Phillies lead the season series 8-6 after wins Monday and Tuesday. … After failing to complete a come-from-behind victory over a 32-game stretch, the Phillies have five in their past 12 games. They are 9-3 overall during that stretch. …The Braves changed starting pitchers for Wednesday’s series finale, with RHP Julio Tehran returning to Atlanta to get treated for an infection on his right thigh. In his place, RHP Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 5.79 ERA) gets his first career start. He will face Philadelphia RHP Jeremy Hellickson (6-6, 4.06).