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Eflin pitching his way into permanent starting gig

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

SAN FRANCISCO -- It sounds like Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin locked up at least a few more starts in the big leagues.

The Phillies' No. 13 prospect allowed one unearned run in six innings Friday night in a 5-4 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park. After he allowed a run in the first inning, he gave up just three hits the rest of the way. And after allowing nine runs in 2 2/3 innings in his big league debut June 14 in Toronto, Eflin has a 1.54 ERA (two earned runs in 11 2/3 innings) in two starts since.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- It sounds like Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin locked up at least a few more starts in the big leagues.

The Phillies' No. 13 prospect allowed one unearned run in six innings Friday night in a 5-4 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park. After he allowed a run in the first inning, he gave up just three hits the rest of the way. And after allowing nine runs in 2 2/3 innings in his big league debut June 14 in Toronto, Eflin has a 1.54 ERA (two earned runs in 11 2/3 innings) in two starts since.

Full Game Coverage

"I'm learning from every outing," Eflin said, "making sure I fine-tune everything to make sure I'm able to put the best outing on the table."

But does he deserve a longer look?

"For me he does," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said, "especially after that fiasco against Toronto. You've got to like that. He's 22 years old. A full house in San Francisco against a team that's won 30 out of their last 39 games, he did a [heck] of a job."

Eflin seemed destined to remain in the Phillies' rotation anyway, even with right-hander Vince Velasquez expected to return next week. Mackanin has indicated left-hander Adam Morgan could be bumped from Monday's start against the D-backs, possibly moving to the bullpen.

But Eflin's performance against the Giants, who have the best record in the Majors since May 10, probably clinched his spot.

"I'm going out on the mound, and it's not really nerve-wracking," Eflin said. "I feel comfortable."

Video: PHI@SF: Giants take lead on Belt's three-run double

The Phillies' bullpen coughed up the lead in the seventh inning as the Giants took a 5-2 lead. Severino Gonzalez started the seventh, which is usually David Hernandez's spot, but Hernandez has posted an 18.69 ERA in his last four appearances.

Gonzalez allowed a leadoff single to Trevor Brown. The Giants sent pinch-hitter Jarrett Parker to the plate, but the Phillies call on left-hander Elvis Araujo. The Giants then countered with pinch-hitter Buster Posey.

"Parker hits .326 against lefties, and I didn't think he'd use Posey in the seventh," Mackanin said about Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "I didn't think he'd use two guys for one move in the seventh."

Posey hit a line drive to center field, which deflected off Odubel Herrera's glove. The ball probably should have been caught, and the inning went south from there as Araujo was charged with three of the four runs that scored. He has a 5.87 ERA in 27 appearances.

The Phillies' bullpen has a 6.16 ERA since May 29.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Philadelphia Phillies, Zach Eflin