Eflin pitches CG for 1st win, Phils hit 4 HRs

Eflin pitches CG for 1st win, Phils hit 4 HRs

PHILADELPHIA -- What in the world has gotten into the Phillies' offense?

They continued to hit the ball in Tuesday night's 5-1 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Peter Bourjos, Cody Asche, Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph each homered as the Phillies' offense has been one of the best in baseball the past couple weeks, averaging 5.93 runs per game in their last 14 after averaging 3.11 runs in their first 71. The Phillies, who have won nine of their last 12 games, can sweep the Braves with a victory on Wednesday afternoon.

"I feel like we were all kind of cold at the same time, now we're hot at the same time, which makes it fun," Bourjos said. "And we're putting up a lot of runs. We're putting together good at-bats, and we're hitting balls hard even when we're down in counts. We're just battling back."

Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings as Ender Inciarte homered in the seventh, the only run the Braves scored against Phillies rookie Zach Eflin, who threw a complete game for the first win of his career. Atlanta has lost 10 of its last 14.

"I've said it all along: Eflin is my favorite pitcher," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bourjos stays hot: Bourjos has been on fire lately. He is hitting .464 (32-for-69) with five doubles, three triples, three home runs, nine RBIs and a 1.260 OPS in 22 games since June 11, when he was batting .192 with a .501 OPS. Mackanin credited Bourjos' current streak for the Phillies' offensive revival. The Phillies have hit 22 home runs in their last 14 games after knocking 60 in their first 71. Their 0.85 home runs per game average through June 20 ranked 28th, while their 1.57 homers per game average since then ranks fourth.

"I just feel a lot more comfortable and obviously more confident with everything that I'm doing," Bourjos said. "I'm allowing the ball to get deeper and not over-swinging, and I think that breeds confidence in the fact that I'm not scared to get to two strikes where before I didn't want to get to two strikes because I felt like I was going to chase."

Bourjos' solo homer

Eflin earns 'W': Eflin has been earning his paycheck since his big league debut in Toronto on June 14, when he allowed nine runs in just 2 2/3 innings. He has a 2.03 ERA in his last four starts, including his complete game against the Braves. Eflin allowed one run on six hits and struck out six to earn his first big league win. He is the first Phillies starter to throw a complete game for his first big league win since Mike Williams pitched one against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 5, 1992. He is the first Phillies rookie to throw a complete game since Vance Worley on July 26, 2011, against the Giants.

"I threw that last pitch and I was just shaking, thanking God for the opportunity to be out there," Eflin said. More >

Eflin records his first MLB win

Inciarte returns with a bang: After missing the last three games with a right groin injury, Ender Inciarte returned the Braves' lineup, hitting second and playing center field. Although he grounded into a double play in the first inning, he more than made up for it with a shot to right in the seventh. It was his first home run on the season in 206 at-bats, joining Erick Aybar as Braves to hit their first home runs of the year over the last two nights.

Inciarte's solo homer

Homers sink Foltynewicz: The Braves' starter had his original return from the disabled list cut short because of rain. Over those three innings against Miami, Foltynewicz allowed a three-run homer. His long-ball problem did not go away in his first full start back, either. Instead of one three-run shot, Foltynewicz allowed four solo shots, ranging from the second batter he faced (Bourjos) to the second-to-last (Joseph) hitter.

"We bring him back a start early, he has a rain delay, and now he finally gets to go out there and pitch," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "That was a good thing, I think, just getting him extended. … But in a ballpark like this, you have to keep the ball down."

Added Foltynewicz: "When I'd get two strikes, I'd just get amped up a little bit, I think. They did not miss a mistake pitch tonight. It was either a home run or base hit, so just get back to the drawing board and relax when I throw with two strikes."

QUOTABLE
"It's very encouraging to see those. [Aaron] Nola is [24]. [Jerad] Eickhoff, he's the old man. He's [25] I believe. Eflin, he looks like he has the confidence he needs to pitch up here. We just have a lot of good young pitchers. It's fun to watch. They're going to have their ups and downs, but it takes a while to get really established here and feel comfortable." -- Mackanin, on the Phillies' rotation, which features four starters in their mid-to-early 20s

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Snitker pulled Dario Alvarez after 1 1/3 innings, he kept Alvarez away from potential Braves history. Alvarez punched out all four batters he faced, becoming the first Brave to do so since Craig Kimbrel in 2012 -- and the 14th all time. No Braves pitcher has tossed 1 2/3 frames or more and struck out every batter he faced. For Alvarez, he has now struck out 19 of the 35 batters he has faced since being called up.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Odubel Herrera, in his second at-bat since being named an All-Star, grounded a ball to third baseman Adonis Garcia, which he couldn't handle. As Herrera took his lead off first, Foltynewicz threw over. Although Herrera was initially ruled safe on his dive back to the bag, the Braves challenged and the call was overturned. Snitker is now 8-for-15 on challenges this season.

Call overturned at first

WHAT'S NEXT
Braves: Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 5.79 ERA) will make his first Major League start in place of Julio Teheran, who is receiving treatment in Atlanta for an infection on his right thigh. MLBPipeline.com ranks Jenkins as the Braves' No. 7 prospect. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Phillies: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (6-6, 4.06 ERA) pitches the series finale on Wednesday against the Braves. There will be plenty of focus on Hellickson as the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. Contending teams looking to fortify the back end of their rotation could have some interest in him.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Braves on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.