Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
ATLANTA (AP) -- Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer, Zach Eflin pitched seven smooth innings and the Philadelphia Phillies won their second straight game over the Atlanta Braves, beating the NL East leaders 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Atlanta has lost three in a row for the first time since July 16-18, but still leads the division by nine games. With nine games left in the regular season, the Braves can clinch their second consecutive NL East title with either two wins, two Washington losses or a combination of one each.
The Phillies, eliminated from the division race, began the night four games back and trailed three teams in the race for the second wild card.
Harper has more homers (nine) against Braves starter Julio Teheran than any pitcher he's faced. He has gone deep seven times against Atlanta this year, more than any other Braves opponent.
Teheran hit J.T. Realmuto with a pitch in the fourth before Harper took him deep to right-center, the slugger's 32nd homer, for a 2-1 lead. Harper has a .404 average in 47 career at-bats against Teheran.
Eflin (9-12) gave up just an unearned run and five hits. He had not made it out of the fourth inning in any of his first three starts against Atlanta, allowing 20 runs -- 12 earned -- with 17 hits and nine walks in 9 1/3 innings.
The Phillies led 4-1 in the sixth after Cesar Hernandez hit his 12th homer off Teheran, and Jean Segura drew a bases-loaded walk from Luke Jackson. Teheran (10-10) allowed three hits and four runs -- three earned -- in five-plus innings.
Jose Alvarez faced the minimum in the eighth, and Hector Neris earned his second save of the series and 28th in 34 chances with a perfect ninth.