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Aaron Nola looked great in his return start Sunday

For the first time in 15 days, a Phillies starter pitched seven innings.

That starter was Aaron Nola, who on Sunday struck out five and walked two, allowing just four hits and a run in a 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh. Plus, he threw just 89 pitches, 57 of them for strikes.

Nola – returning from a back strain injury and suffering an elbow injury late last season – looked like the early 2016 version, bringing his ERA down to 3.52 and his FIP to 3.04.

If Nola is on, the Phillies rotation might actually start falling into place.

View Nola’s five strikeouts against the Pirates here.

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