Major League Baseball

Eflin tosses another gem as Phillies top Nationals

Zach Eflin had another strong start and the host Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of defensive miscues to beat the Washington Nationals 7-1 on a rainy Sunday, taking two of three games in the series.

The Nationals have won just three series this year — losing five series in a row — and lost for the 11th time in 16 games.

Washington starter Anibal Sanchez (0-5) fell to 5-11 in his career against the Phillies despite fanning a season-high nine batters in 4 2/3 innings while allowing two runs, none earned.

Eflin (4-3), after a complete game in his previous start against the Miami Marlins, allowed just one run on four hits in seven inning with five strikeouts in a 108-pitch outing.

The Phillies put the game away with five runs in the sixth off reliever Matt Grace, who retired the only batter he faced in the fifth.

A run scored on a bunt single by Eflin, Jean Segura drove in a run with a fielder’s choice, Bryce Harper had an RBI single and Rhys Hoskins drove in two with a double to make it 7-1.

Washington’s Kurt Suzuki hit his third homer of the series in the fourth, with his solo shot trimming the margin to 2-1. It is the second time in his 13-year career he has homered in three straight games, having previously done so in three consecutive games played from Aug. 19-25, 2017.

The Nationals defense gave the Phillies two extra outs in the first.

Rookie shortstop Carter Kieboom made an error on a grounder by Segura to put two runners at first and second. Two outs and a walk later, first baseman Jake Noll — just called up from Triple-A — couldn’t come up with a grounder off the bat of Cesar Hernandez as two runs scored.

Before the game, the Nationals put first baseman Matt Adams (shoulder) on the 10-day injured list and called up Noll from Fresno. Noll was not looking when Sanchez threw a pickoff that hit Noll in the upper body in the first inning, but baserunner Andrew McCutchen did not advance.

Washington is in the early stages of playing 33 games in 34 days through May 29.

–Field Level Media

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