The Philadelphia Phillies (38-30) could not muster any offense against Arizona Diamondbacks (36-33) starter Merrill Kelly, dropping the final game of the series by a score of 2-0. Phils starter Zach Eflin pitched extremely well, but a two-run fifth inning from the visitors proved to be enough on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park. The game was a quick one, lasting just two hours and 16 minutes.
The Phillies had an opportunity to get on the board first in the third. Nick Williams led-off with a double to right. Unfortunately, Maikel Franco grounded out, Eflin struck out and Cesar Hernandez flew out to end the inning.
Zack Eflin was dealing through the first four innings, even starting the game by retiring nine in a row, but Arizona finally got to him in the fifth. Adam Jones, Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker hit singles to start the inning, with Walker’s knock plating Jones to put across the first run of the game. Nick Ahmed would follow with a sacrifice fly to score Escobar before Eflin induced an inning-ended double play.
In the 7th, J.T. Realmuto reached on a two-out infield single that was originally ruled an out, but review showed him to be safe. The very next play, Scott Kingery reached on an infield hit to short, putting two runners on with two down, but the Diamondbacks challenged and the replay showed that Kingery was out, ending the inning. It was a heck of a play by Arizona shortstop Nick Ahmed.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) June 13, 2019
The Phillies went down 1-2-3 in the eighth. Bryce Harper came in to pitch hit with two down but lined out to center field. Vince Velasquez pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, but the Phils were unable to get a runner on base against Diamondbacks closer Greg Holland.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Zach Eflin pitched a gem, but it wasn’t quite enough since he got no run support. After setting down the first nine batters of the game, Eflin went on to finish eight innings of work, allowing just two runs while striking out nine and walking just one batter. Nine strikeouts tied Eflin’s career-high. Zach is trending in the right direction, which is great for this Phillies team. The 25-year-old right-hander has held the opposition to three runs or less in six of his last seven starts.
Meanwhile, Merrill Kelly was outstanding through 7 2/3 innings, allowing just three hits while tallying five strikeouts. Two of those three hits came off the bat of Phillies outfielder Nick Williams.
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Merrill Kelly
As mentioned above, Kelly kept the Harper-less Phillies offense at bay following two games with a good amount of scoring. He didn’t have the strikeout pitch working, but put together his third consecutive strong start. Kelly has allowed just two runs combined over his last three outings, spanning 22 innings. Prior to that he had given up four runs in each of his previous two outings.
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