Nola goes on DL with strained lower back

Right-hander experienced soreness Thursday; move is retroactive to Friday

Nola goes on DL with strained lower back

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained lower back, the Phillies announced Monday. The transaction is retroactive to Friday.

"Aaron experienced soreness in his lower back during his start on Thursday," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said in a statement. "After receiving treatment over the last few days, the symptoms improved, but he still felt some tightness during his side session yesterday. Our hope and expectation is that this will not be a lengthy DL placement and that Aaron will miss only one or two starts."

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies have intriguing switch situation

Phillies have intriguing switch situation

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak noticed a peculiar thing this spring when going through different lineup iterations with manager Pete Mackanin.

"We'd have it up on his whiteboard, and he draws this little grid with the left- and right-handed hitters, and he's writing all of them right in the middle," Klentak said. "It's crazy."

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hernandez providing surprising pop for Phillies

Second baseman started big eighth-inning rally to complete sweep of Braves

Hernandez providing surprising pop for Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Cesar Hernandez finished last season playing like one of the game's elite second basemen.

He has been even better this year.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils hit 3 straight homers, sweep Braves

Phils hit 3 straight homers, sweep Braves

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies are not a home run-hitting team, but they showed some serious muscle late in Sunday afternoon's 5-2 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

They hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to break a tie and sweep the Braves. Cesar Hernandez hit a two-run home run off Arodys Vizcaino to hand the Phillies a two-run lead. Aaron Altherr followed and ripped a solo homer into the Phillies' bullpen in center field, and Odubel Herrera hit a solo shot to left-center field against Ian Krol to make it a four-run game. The Phillies have won six of their last eight games to improve to 9-9.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Paul Hagen

Braves-Phillies' similarities could lead to rivalry

Rebuilding franchises on parallel track toward contending in NL East

Braves-Phillies' similarities could lead to rivalry

PHILADELPHIA -- Some baseball rivalries have historic foundations that survive the ages. Dodgers-Giants. Yankees-Red Sox. Cardinals-Cubs. Others are more temporal, based on trends that pull franchises toward each other.

That might just be happening right now with the Braves and Phillies. And just because the competition doesn't have deep roots doesn't make it any less compelling.

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Paul Hagen is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Herrera bat flip caps back-to-back-to-back HRs

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Herrera bat flip caps back-to-back-to-back HRs

In the eighth inning of Sunday's Braves-Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park, things were knotted up at 1 -- until the Phillies decided to emphatically take a stand and unbreak that tie.

Their chosen method of taking the lead was particularly dramatic, considering Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera connected on back-to-back-to-back homers against Arodys Vizcaino. 

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Eflin continues his mastery over Braves

Eflin continues his mastery over Braves

PHILADELPHIA -- Bad knees or not, Zach Eflin owns the Braves.

"It's a thrill for me to be able to look back and see how hard I worked then come out here, put up zeros, and keep the game as close as possible," Eflin said of his journey from double knee surgery this offseason to the Major League rotation in the third week of the season.

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Ben Harris is reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alfaro's homer proves decisive for IronPigs

Alfaro's homer proves decisive for IronPigs

It seems like every time he takes the mound, Kolby Allard keeps showing why the Braves drafted him No. 14 overall two years ago.

The 19-year-old left-hander, already pitching for Double-A Mississippi, has a 1.29 ERA through his first four starts of 2017 after tossing five scoreless innings against the Montgomery Biscuits on Sunday. Allard scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Velasquez looks for 1st win in opener vs. Fish

Velasquez looks for 1st win in opener vs. Fish

Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will take the mound in Philadelphia on Tuesday trying to replicate the exceptional seven no-hit innings he threw against the Mariners last week.

Chen was pulled from the game during his no-hit bid when his pitch count reached the century mark. He enters the start with a 2-0 record, a 3.94 ERA and 1.063 WHIP in 16 innings this season.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franco's walk-off single in 10th lifts Phils

Franco's walk-off single in 10th lifts Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- How in the world did the Phillies win Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park?

They blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning and allowed the go-ahead run in the 10th, but they scored twice in the bottom of the 10th in improbable fashion for a 4-3 victory over the Braves.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

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

Statcast of the Day: Odubel off to the races

Phillies center fielder chases down line drive from Braves' Swanson

Statcast of the Day: Odubel off to the races

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera felt a little like a superhero Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

He covered 89 feet in 4.6 seconds in pursuit of a line drive in the top of the seventh inning in a 4-3 victory over the Braves in 10 innings. Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson barreled a ball to right-center field, but Herrera caught the ball in stride, just short of the chain-link fence. The catch kept the tying run on first base with two outs.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Good contact' by Franco is all that is needed

'Good contact' by Franco is all that is needed

PHILADELPHIA -- Minutes after the Phillies beat the Braves in a wild 4-3 extra-inning victory Saturday, the hero was showered and standing in front of his locker, his hair no longer saturated with the Gatorade he was doused with during his on-field postgame media appearance.

After the Braves tied the game in the ninth and took the lead in the 10th, a game the Phillies looked to have in control began slipping from their grasp. But a 10th-inning rally brought Maikel Franco to the plate with the bases loaded and a chance to notch a series win, and the Phillies' first three-game winning streak since early July.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies not expected to sign prospect Robert

Phillies not expected to sign prospect Robert

PHILADELPHIA -- Cuban outfield prospect Luis Robert, 19, is expected to sign a multi-million bonus in the coming weeks.

The Phillies are not expected to sign the top international prospect.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Struggles of Crawford not a worry for Phillies

GM Klentak says it's too early in the season to put too much stock in a slump

Struggles of Crawford not a worry for Phillies

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Saturday he is not concerned about prospect J.P. Crawford.

Crawford is the organization's No. 1 prospect and the No. 4 prospect in baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. But he entered Saturday hitting .098 (4-for-41) with one triple, two RBIs, seven walks, 13 strikeouts and a .376 OPS in 12 games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils acquire utility man Kelly from Blue Jays

Phils acquire utility man Kelly from Blue Jays

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies acquired utility man Ty Kelly from the Blue Jays for cash considerations Saturday, providing depth for their shorthanded four-man bench when the Marlins come to Philadelphia next week.

Kelly will travel to Philadelphia on Sunday, and will likely dress for Tuesday's game against Miami.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hellickson relying on command in hot start

Hellickson relying on command in hot start

PHILADELPHIA -- For just the third time in 16 games this season, a Phillies starting pitcher lasted seven innings. For the second time, and in his second straight start, that pitcher was Jeremy Hellickson.

The first seven innings of the Phillies' 4-3 win over the Braves belonged to Hellickson, who surrendered just three hits and two runs. It was the eighth time he has pitched seven innings while allowing two or fewer runs since joining the Phillies last season, the most on the team.

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Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies snap streak against Colon, Braves

Phillies snap streak against Colon, Braves

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin combed through the batter-pitcher matchups hours before Friday night's game against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park and found only limited success against Bartolo Colon.

But the Phillies picked up 11 hits and four runs in seven innings against Colon in a 4-3 victory. Colon had been 10-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 14 starts against the Phillies the previous three seasons with the Mets. The Phillies had picked up more than six hits against him in just four of those 14 starts. They had never had more than 10, which happened once, in July 2014.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

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

Altherr excelling in Kendrick's absence

Altherr excelling in Kendrick's absence

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr is making things interesting in the Phillies' outfield.

He went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in Friday night's 4-3 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Altherr started just one of the team's first 11 games, but since left fielder Howie Kendrick landed on the disabled list Sunday with a strained oblique, Altherr has started four of the past five games.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mackanin cautious with Kendrick's injury

Mackanin cautious with Kendrick's injury

PHILADELPHIA -- Howie Kendrick might spend a little more than 10 days on the disabled list.

He landed on the 10-day DL on Tuesday with a strained right abdomen. It is retroactive to Sunday, meaning he could be activated as early as next Wednesday, but Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said that Kendrick's return is "still up in the air about how long it's going to take."

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Medina punches out 10 in seven scoreless

Medina punches out 10 in seven scoreless

No pitcher has been more dominant than Class A Columbia's Merandy Gonzalez to begin the season. That trend continued on Friday night, as the Mets' No. 14 prospect extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 2/3 by tossing seven frames in a win against Lexington.

Gonzalez allowed just three singles and struck out a season-high seven batters en route to his third win in as many starts for the Fireflies. He retired nine consecutive batters at one point before setting down the final seven he faced to finish with 88 pitches (64 strikes).

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franco's high exit velo helps him break out

Phillies third baseman snaps 0-for-22 slump with RBI double, HR vs. Mets

Franco's high exit velo helps him break out

NEW YORK -- Maikel Franco tried to remain upbeat, even as his hitless streak extended into its sixth game.

He stepped into the batter's box in the third inning of a 6-4 victory over the Mets at Citi Field on Thursday night in an 0-for-22 slump. He had not picked up a hit since April 12 at Citizens Bank Park. But Franco ended the slide, ripping a 1-2 fastball from Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard to left field for an RBI double.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franco, Galvis make deceptive catch

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Franco, Galvis make deceptive catch

Aside from pickoffs and the occasional hidden-ball trick, baseball is a pretty straightforward, even-handed game. A pitcher throws the ball, a batter hits the ball -- or doesn't, as the case may be -- and a fielder catches the ball.

But, during Thursday night's 6-4 win against the Mets, the Phillies channeled the sport of volleyball on a Jose Reyes popup.

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Phils strike early vs. Thor, take set from Mets

Phils strike early vs. Thor, take set from Mets

NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard looked unhittable in the first inning Thursday night at Citi Field.

He struck out the side on 14 pitches, flashing his 100-mph fastball. It looked like a long night ahead for the Phillies, but they scored three runs in the second inning and two runs in the third in a 6-4 victory, winning their first series against the Mets since April 8-10, 2016.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Mets on Thursday.

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

Phillies turn to Neris to shut door on Mets

Righty gets latest chance to close after Gomez, Benoit had previously struggled

Phillies turn to Neris to shut door on Mets

NEW YORK -- Hector Neris got so excited about his save Thursday night at Citi Field that he forgot to thank his catcher.

Forgive him. He has little experience closing. But Neris did the job in a 6-4 victory over the Mets as Phillies manager Pete Mackanin searches for the right person to pitch the ninth after Jeanmar Gomez lost the job after just three appearances and Joaquin Benoit blew a save Sunday in Washington.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils owner Middleton: Rebuild is 'on track'

Philadelphia should be among highest payrolls in MLB again in coming years

Phils owner Middleton: Rebuild is 'on track'

NEW YORK -- Phillies managing partner John Middleton always has something interesting to say whenever he speaks publicly about his team.

Thursday morning proved no different.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pivetta fans 11 in six scoreless

Pivetta fans 11 in six scoreless

Make it three straight scoreless starts for Class A Advanced Buies Creek's Franklin Perez.

The Astros' No. 6 prospect extended his season-opening scoreless innings streak to 14 1/3 on Thursday, tossing five dominant frames against a loaded Carolina offense. He gave up two hits, struck out seven and induced six ground-ball outs as Buies Creek routed the Mudcats, 14-1.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Velasquez retools style to emphasize control

Right-hander attacked the zone, 3-run HR was main mistake vs. Mets

Velasquez retools style to emphasize control

NEW YORK -- Vince Velasquez called it a regathering.

He had been highly critical of himself following each of his first two starts this season, allowing a combined nine runs in nine innings. He called his performances "terrible," "horrible," and "lousy." But he said he regrouped recently in the bullpen, working and talking with Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phillies mount late rallies, fall short vs. Mets

Phillies mount late rallies, fall short vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- Jay Bruce continues to haunt the Phillies.

The Mets' right fielder ripped two home runs in Wednesday night's 5-4 victory at Citi Field. He hit a two-out, three-run home run to right field against Vince Velasquez in the sixth inning to hand the Mets a one-run lead. The Phillies tied the game in the eighth, but Bruce answered. He hit a 1-0 fastball from Edubray Ramos for a two-run homer to right to give the Mets a two-run lead. The homers left Bruce's bat at 108 mph and 105 mph, respectively, according to Statcast™.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

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