The Braves were unable to solve Zach Eflin on Wednesday, while Julio Teheran had a second consecutive uninspiring start against the Phillies. Atlanta jumped out to an early lead, but eventually fell to Philadelphia by a 4-1 score.
The Phillies defense was shaky early on, allowing the Braves to draw first blood in the second inning. Nick Markakis and Matt Joyce reached on errors to begin the frame, and were followed by Brian McCann, who grounded into a force out that scored Markakis to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Julio Teheran would hold that lead until the fourth inning, when the right-hander plunked JT Realmuto to lead off the inning, then Bryce Harper blasted a center-cut sinker into the Braves bullpen for a two-run, go-ahead homer. Harper owns a .407 average with nine home runs against Teheran in his career.
In the sixth inning, Cesar Hernandez led off the inning with a solo homer to right-center field, giving the Phillies a 3-1 advantage. After a catcher’s interference on Brian McCann allowed JT Realmuto to reach, Teheran walked Harper and Rhys Hoskins to load the bases and was removed in favor of Luke Jackson. With the bases loaded and no outs, Jackson promptly walked the first batter he faced, Jean Segura, to bring the Phillies lead to 4-1. Jackson would then retire the next three batters, escaping the jam with limited damage.
Teheran completed five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits, two homers, two walks, and six strikeouts. Overall, the right-hander was decent, but found major trouble in his third trip through the Phillies lineup. Bryce Harper being part of that lineup will seemingly always be an issue for Teheran, and adding to his career home run total is hardly a surprise.
As for the Braves offense, their bats were nearly silent after the second inning. The club had difficulty solving Zach Eflin, who worked seven innings while allowing one run (unearned) on five hits with four strikeouts. Eflin effectively induced weak contact from Braves hitters, and kept them off-balance with a well-located repertoire that included a heavy dosage of cutters to lefties.
The Braves went quietly in the final two innings against Jose Alvarez and Hector Neris, who each retired Atlanta in order to close out a 4-1 victory. In spite of an unexciting performance tonight against the Phillies, the Braves did trim their magic number to two with the benefit of a Nationals loss, so the day was at least somewhat productive from Atlanta’s perspective. The Braves will look to salvage the final game of their three-game set with Philadelphia on Thursday.