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Eflin hits 1st HR into celebrating Phils bullpen

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Zach Eflin took the first pitch he saw from Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio in the third inning, an 86-mph sinker. On the next pitch, another sinker, Eflin crushed his first career home run into the Phillies' bullpen.

Manager Gabe Kapler said postgame that he admired the way his team did not quit on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. Eflin pitched into a three-run hole in the first inning by allowing three hard-hit doubles. But he was the first one to ignite the Phillies' offensive comeback in what eventually became a tough-to-swallow 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Zach Eflin took the first pitch he saw from Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio in the third inning, an 86-mph sinker. On the next pitch, another sinker, Eflin crushed his first career home run into the Phillies' bullpen.

Manager Gabe Kapler said postgame that he admired the way his team did not quit on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. Eflin pitched into a three-run hole in the first inning by allowing three hard-hit doubles. But he was the first one to ignite the Phillies' offensive comeback in what eventually became a tough-to-swallow 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays.

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"That was pretty exciting," Kapler said. "It's hard to hit a no-doubter home run to center field here. The moment it left his bat, everybody thought it was a home run."

In the 'pen, Eflin's fellow pitchers celebrated his rare offensive feat. Luis Garcia caught the ball off a hop and lifted his arms in triumph. Adam Morgan and Drew Hutchison danced. Hector Neris, while displaying a smile on the big screen, wound up and pretended to hit a home run of his own.

Arms That Hammer Sweepstakes

"Any time you can help the offense out in any way you can is fun as a pitcher," Eflin said. "It does give you a little extra motivation to go out there. You're amped up a little bit. It gets some adrenaline going."

Eflin's home run left his bat with an exit velocity of 106.1 mph, according to Statcast™. It traveled a projected 418 feet.

The last Phillies pitcher to hit a home run was Ben Lively on Sept. 5, 2017, against the Mets. Last weekend, though, utility man Pedro Florimon was technically a pitcher after tossing the eighth inning and homering in the ninth.

Joe Bloss is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies, Zach Eflin