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Phillies' Eflin caps off career-best month with 5th straight win

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Picking up and besting where fellow Philadelphia Phillies right-handed rotation arm Jake Arrieta left off in May — 2-1 with a 0.90 ERA — is not the All-Star-bound Aaron Nola, Vince Velasquez, nor Nick Pivetta. It is Zach Eflin.

Eflin — whose first five starts of the season resulted in two losses and a 4.50 ERA — turned things around in his next five outings, all this June. With his four-hit, seven-shutout-inning victory Wednesday against the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park — helping the Phillies salvage the series — Eflin improved to 5-0 this June with a 1.76 ERA, 0.978 WHIP and 28-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 30 2/3 innings.

Doing so, Eflin, 24, became the first Phillies starter to finish a calendar month with a perfect 5-0 record since southpaw Cole Hamels in May 2012. Four of Eflin's five June wins came after a Phillies loss, and three have ended a losing streak of three or more games. In addition, Eflin lasted at least five innings, and allowed two runs or fewer and two walks or fewer, in each of the five outings.


EflinStats


Eflin's win on Wednesday was his 10th career victory out of 32 starts, and his first interleague win in five outings. Entering the series finale, Eflin had a 11.94 ERA against American League opponents — and a 15.95 ERA against the American League East clubs. Those respective ERAs fell to 8.51 and 8.16 after Eflin's Wednesday start.

The Phillies acquired the Orlando, Florida native from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Dec. 19, 2014 —  along with Tom Windle —  in exchange for franchise hits leader Jimmy Rollins and cash. The trade came just one day after the San Diego Padres dealt Eflin to Los Angeles —  along with Yasmani Grandal and Joe Wieland — in exchange for Tim Federowicz, Matt Kemp and cash.


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