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Hector Neris recalled; J.P. Crawford optioned

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' bullpen got back a familiar face Tuesday, when the club recalled reliever Hector Neris from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Infielder J.P. Crawford was optioned to Triple-A on Monday night in a corresponding move.

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' bullpen got back a familiar face Tuesday, when the club recalled reliever Hector Neris from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Infielder J.P. Crawford was optioned to Triple-A on Monday night in a corresponding move.

View Full Game Coverage

Neris opened the season as the Phillies' closer, but he lost his job after pitching to a 7.71 ERA over a nine-appearance stretch in May. He was demoted after allowing three home runs in a 17-7 loss to the Nationals on June 29, bringing a 6.90 ERA with him. But the 29-year-old appeared to regain his form at Triple-A, pitching to a 1.75 ERA across 19 appearances for the IronPigs.

Neris gives the Phillies a nine-man bullpen, swelling a unit that has excelled in recent weeks. The Phils have the Majors' top bullpen ERA (2.73) since the start of July.

Crawford did not appear in any of the Phillies' three games since he was activated from the disabled list Friday. The 23-year-old rookie is hitting .194/.312/.333 across 34 games this season. He figures to get more at bats at Triple-A in the short term, with recently acquired Asdrubal Cabrera earning the bulk of the playing time at shortstop, Maikel Franco playing well at third and Scott Kingery already in a utility role at the big league level.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

Philadelphia Phillies, J.P. Crawford, Hector Neris

Inbox: Will the Phillies hit down the stretch?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers questions from fans
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

What's the Phillies' biggest concern heading into the final stretch of the season?
-- Tom S., Newtown Square, Pa.

It's the offense, although the defense has remained a season-long issue. As much hand-wringing as there has been at times from fans regarding the rotation, the Phillies have one of the strongest starting staffs in baseball. It ranks seventh with a 3.70 ERA and sixth with a 3.76 xFIP. The Phils' bullpen has a 2.73 ERA since July 1, too. It is the best mark in baseball in that span.

What's the Phillies' biggest concern heading into the final stretch of the season?
-- Tom S., Newtown Square, Pa.

It's the offense, although the defense has remained a season-long issue. As much hand-wringing as there has been at times from fans regarding the rotation, the Phillies have one of the strongest starting staffs in baseball. It ranks seventh with a 3.70 ERA and sixth with a 3.76 xFIP. The Phils' bullpen has a 2.73 ERA since July 1, too. It is the best mark in baseball in that span.

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There is no reason to think the Phillies will not pitch well enough down the stretch. But will they hit?

Philadelphia hit .184 with a .543 OPS on its 2-4 road trip through Arizona and San Diego. The Phils have hit .216 with a .627 OPS during a 7-8 stretch since July 26. Numbers like that are exactly why they acquired Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilson Ramos and Justin Bour.

Ramos' eventual return should help. He hit .297 with 14 home runs, 53 RBIs and an .834 OPS before he injured his left hamstring last month. When Ramos is activated from the DL, he will immediately become the Phillies' second-most productive hitter behind Rhys Hoskins. Ramos spent most of the season hitting fourth for Tampa Bay. He probably should hit there for Philadelphia, too. After Carlos Santana reached a season-high .804 OPS on June 23, he has hit .192 with a .650 OPS since. Manager Gabe Kapler has been reluctant to move Santana out of the cleanup spot, in part because he said Santana is comfortable hitting there. Kapler reiterated that point Sunday, when he told reporters in San Diego that, "We certainly don't think he's out of place in the four-hole in our lineup."

But the numbers suggest otherwise, and the sample size is no longer small enough to dismiss. Now, moving Santana out of the cleanup spot will not magically cure the Phils' offensive woes. But there could be a game in the final few weeks of the season when Ramos or somebody else hitting cleanup steps to the plate in a high-leverage situation and comes through with a big hit, much like having an extra bench player on the 25-man roster this week could help them win a game.

The Phillies optioned Zach Eflin to Triple-A over the weekend (he will not miss a start because he will be the team's 26th man in a doubleheader Thursday against the Mets) because they considered it a way to find value at the margins.

Dropping Santana from fourth to fifth (or even lower) in the Phils' lineup could be another example of finding value at the margins, too.

How concerned should we be about Seranthony Dominguez's ineffectiveness pitching on no rest?
-- Ed E., Philadelphia

It isn't exactly a four-alarm fire, but it is worth watching. Dominguez has a 9.92 ERA in nine appearances on no rest, allowing nine hits and eight walks and striking 11 in 7 1/3 innings. He has a 0.84 ERA in 28 appearances with at least one day of rest, allowing 14 hits and five walks and striking out 43 in 34 innings.

The Phillies play the Braves seven times in their final 11 games. If Philadelphia and Atlanta remain neck and neck entering those final 11 games, there certainly could be multiple situations when the Phils would love to have Dominguez pitch back-to-back games. Perhaps they can find a way to keep him fresher or get his body more acclimated to the workload before then. If not, they will have no choice then to lean on other relievers in the 'pen. Fortunately for them, there are enough pitchers throwing well right now to help them manage it.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies

Arrieta falters as Phils fall into tie atop NL East

Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Jake Arrieta has made a habit of heating up after the All-Star break, but the Phillies right-hander never warmed to the occasion Sunday afternoon against the Padres in a 9-3 loss at Petco Park.

The loss dropped the Phillies into a first-place tie in the National League East with Atlanta, an 8-7 winner over Milwaukee.

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SAN DIEGO -- Jake Arrieta has made a habit of heating up after the All-Star break, but the Phillies right-hander never warmed to the occasion Sunday afternoon against the Padres in a 9-3 loss at Petco Park.

The loss dropped the Phillies into a first-place tie in the National League East with Atlanta, an 8-7 winner over Milwaukee.

View Full Game Coverage

Arrieta allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base with a hit in each of the first three innings. It hurt him a little in the first, when Travis Jankowski scored only the second run Arrieta had allowed over his previous 26 innings on the road. It hurt a lot in the third, when the Padres loaded the bases before former Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis hit his first career grand slam on a 2-2 fastball with two outs.

"Sometimes those things happen," Arrieta said. "I had an opportunity to get out of a couple situations with a different result. It just didn't go that way. It was a weird one. The first three innings were strange. Couldn't necessarily find it when I needed to."

Video: PHI@SD: Galvis launches a grand slam to center field

Critical in the third inning was miscommunication between Arrieta and catcher Jorge Alfaro on a soft grounder topped by the Padres' Eric Hosmer. Arrieta and Alfaro both converged on the ball midway between the mound and the plate. Arrieta picked up the ball, but couldn't make a throw when Alfaro bumped into him.

Hosmer was credited with an infield single. The way the inning played out, Galvis never would have come to the plate had Arrieta been able to make the throw to first to get Hosmer.

Video: PHI@SD: Hosmer singles as Arrieta, Alfaro converge

"Jorge's awesome on that play," Arrieta said. "From my perspective, it looked like he was letting me get it, so that's why I went at it. It was just one of those things where there wasn't communication. I didn't say anything to him, so he probably thought I was going to let him take it because he usually does. Just miscommunication on my part."

That was one of the plays on manager Gabe Kapler's mind after the game. So, too, was poor play in the bottom of the eighth when the Phillies allowed the Padres to score three runs, immediately after they had scored three runs in the top of the inning to close within 6-3.

"We didn't execute the fundamentals today," said Kapler, who wanted to speak to the players involved before going into further specifics. "That's on me. I have to do a better job of getting us prepared to play and to execute the fundamentals of this game. So that one's on me. … It's my job to help the players set the tone and be on top of their game all the time."

Video: PHI@SD: Galvis scores on Davis' throwing error

Arrieta (9-7), who was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth, allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

Over the past four seasons, Arrieta (9-7) has compiled a 2.14 ERA after the All-Star break. He was 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA since this year's break coming into this game, his first road loss since June 15 at Milwaukee.

Arrieta was outpitched by Padres rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi (6-6), who allowed two hits over six shutout innings.

Video: PHI@SD: Williams rips an RBI double into the corner

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Padres had an opportunity for a big inning -- and it appeared the Phillies were going to help them -- when they loaded the bases with one out in the second.

With Lucchesi at the plate, Arrieta threw a pitch that got past Alfaro.

Austin Hedges broke from third base, then put on the brakes when Alfaro got the ball back to Arrieta covering at the plate.

Video: PHI@SD: Cabrera tags out Hedges in a rundown

Hedges and teammate Christian Villanueva couldn't share third base, so Villanueva tried retreating to second. Arrieta threw down to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to thwart that. With Hedges still between third and home, Cabrera ran at the runner to freeze him and finally tagged out Hedges for the rare 2-1-6 putout at the plate.

Arrieta struck out Lucchesi to end the inning.

Video: PHI@SD: Arrieta strikes out Lucchesi to end the 2nd

SOUND SMART
If the Phillies are to win the division for the first time since 2011, it sure would make things easier if they improved their record on the road. They are the only division leader in the Majors this season without a winning road record (27-34). Atlanta is the only team to win the NL East in the past 22 years with a losing road record (40-41 in 2013).

HE SAID IT
"[We're] trying not to focus too much on what's going on outside this clubhouse, whether Atlanta loses, Washington wins or loses. It's like, 'Let's just try and win the game that day.' If we do that and we stay healthy, we're going to end up in a good spot. The spot we want to be in." -- Arrieta, on the mood in the clubhouse amid a looming pennant race

UP NEXT
After an off-day Monday, the Phillies will be back at Citizens Bank Ballpark on Tuesday night to open a two-game series against Boston. Two weeks ago, the Phillies rebounded to split a two-game series against the Red Sox after losing the first game at Fenway Park, then won seven of their next 10 games. Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta (7-9, 4.51 ERA) is scheduled to start against Boston right-hander Rick Porcello (14-5, 4.17 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. ET in the series opener. In two August starts, Pivetta has allowed two runs in 12 innings, striking out 13 and walking one.

Kirk Kenney is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jake Arrieta

Phillies Minor League Review: Aug. 6-12

Phillies

Players of the Week

Player - OF Mickey Moniak, Clearwater … The 20-year-old hit safely in seven of his eight games, batting .400 (12-30) with three doubles, one triple, three RBI, five walks, one steal and a 1.052 OPS. Additionally, the left-handed hitter is batting .353 (24-68) with a .903 OPS in his last 18 games since July 25. The California native was selected by the Phillies in the first round (No. 1 overall) of the June 2016 draft.

Players of the Week

Player - OF Mickey Moniak, Clearwater … The 20-year-old hit safely in seven of his eight games, batting .400 (12-30) with three doubles, one triple, three RBI, five walks, one steal and a 1.052 OPS. Additionally, the left-handed hitter is batting .353 (24-68) with a .903 OPS in his last 18 games since July 25. The California native was selected by the Phillies in the first round (No. 1 overall) of the June 2016 draft.

Pitcher - RHP Connor Brogdon, Lakewood … Brogdon, 23, allowed two hits across two scoreless relief appearances (5.0 IP) with seven strikeouts and no walks. He has not allowed an earned run over his last 21.0 innings since June 25, posting a 0.62 WHIP (3 BB & 10 H) with 28 strikeouts in 14 games during that stretch. Brogdon was also recently named Phillies Minor League Co-Pitcher of the Month for July. The 6-foot-6 righty was selected by the Phillies in the 10th round of the June 2017 draft.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 73-47, 1st place… The IronPigs lost all three of their games at Indianapolis to begin the week before taking two of three at Louisville. Lehigh Valley blanked Louisville on Sunday for its 13th shutout win of the season.

Top hitting performers - OF Danny Ortiz batted .529 (9-17) with four doubles, a home run, 10 RBI and a 1.467 OPS. He had multiple RBI in four of his six games… 1B Joey Meneses went 8-for-25 (.320) with one home run, three RBI and four runs scored over six contests… INF Zach Green posted a .375/.412/.563 slash line, going 6-for-16 with three doubles and two RBI in four games.

Top pitching performers - RHP Hector Neris had two scoreless relief appearances (2.0 IP) and recorded five strikeouts, while also earning one win. Of his 19 games with Lehigh Valley this season, 18 have been scoreless outings. Additionally, he has held opponents to a .138 batting average (9-65)… RHP Yacksel Rios worked 3.0 scoreless innings of relief, striking out six batters over his two appearances… RHP Mark Leiter Jr. did not allow a run in three relief appearances (4.0 IP) with four strikeouts.

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division… 58-60, 3rd place… Reading went 6-0 last week, sweeping three-game sets at Akron and against Binghamton. The Fightin Phils combined to outscore their opponents, 27-12.

Top hitting performers - C Deivi Grullon collected two doubles, two home runs and four RBI, while batting .389 (7-18) in five games. He is batting .348 (31-89) with 15 extra-base hits, 23 RBI and a 1.104 OPS in his last 26 games since July 2. Grullon leads all qualifying double-A hitters in OPS over that stretch… 1B/OF Austin Listi doubled, homered, drove in two runs and hit .364 (4-11) in four contests.

Top pitching performers - RHP Connor Seabold fanned eight batters over 7.0 innings and allowed just one run in his only start. He has posted a 1.50 ERA (3 ER, 18.0 IP) with 20 strikeouts and only 10 hits allowed over his last three starts… RHP Tyler Viza made one start in which he allowed one run with six strikeouts in 7.0 innings.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 32-18, 1st place, 64-54 overall… The Threshers began their week with a four-game sweep over Tampa, which included a doubleheader on August 6. They proceeded to split a four-game series against St. Lucie.

Top hitting performers - OF Mickey Moniak, the Phillies Minor League Player of the Week, posted a .400/.486/.567 slash line, going 12-for-30 with four extra-base hits, three RBI and five walks in eight games… C Edgar Cabral homered, knocked in two runs, walked three times and batted .300 (6-20) in six contests.

Top pitching performers - RHP Mauricio Llovera earned one win and allowed three earned runs in 12.0 innings over two starts. He walked none and recorded 14 strikeouts. Llovera has 113 strikeouts to 29 walks this season… RHP Addison Russ tossed 4.0 scoreless innings with five strikeouts across three relief appearances. He notched two saves and is now 24-for-24 in save chances in 2018 (13 with Lakewood and 11 with Clearwater). Russ is the only pitcher in Minor League Baseball with that many saves and a 100.0 percent success rate in save opportunities this season… LHP Jakob Hernandez allowed just one hit in three scoreless relief appearances (4.2 IP) with eight strikeouts… RHP Adonis Medina surrendered one unearned run in 6.0 innings with five strikeouts during his only outing.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League Northern Division… 34-16, 1st place, 75-44 overall… The BlueClaws took two of three at Charleston and won two of their next three at Hickory. They earned two shutout victories last week, bringing their season total to 23. The next closest team in the league has 12 shutout wins.

Top hitting performers - C Rodolfo Duran, the South Atlantic League Player of the Week, batted .474 (9-19) with two doubles, three home runs, six RBI and a 1.553 OPS in six games. He had a multi-homer game on August 10 at Hickory, the first such game of his professional career… INF Dalton Guthrie went 10-for-23 (.435) with two doubles and four runs scored over six contests… OF Matt Vierling doubled twice, homered and hit .333 (6-18) in five games… OF Jhailyn Ortiz tripled, walked twice and batted .313 (5-16) over five games.

Top pitching performers - RHP Connor Brogdon, the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week, recorded seven strikeouts over two scoreless relief appearances (5.0 IP) and yielded just two hits… RHP Andrew Brown logged a quality start, scattering two hits over 6.0 scoreless innings with six strikeouts… RHP Spencer Howard earned a win in his lone start, striking out six hitters in 6.0 scoreless innings… LHP Will Stewart tossed a rain-shorted shutout (5.0 IP) on August 9 at Charleston.

Williamsport Crosscutters - New York-Penn League Pinckney Division… 23-32, 5th place… The Crosscutters dropped five of their seven games. Four of their five losses were by three runs or fewer.

Top hitting performers - OF Ben Pelletier doubled, tripled, homered, drove in three runs, scored five runs and batted .286 (8-28) in seven games… 2B Brayan Gonzalez collected two doubles, four RBI and went 5-for-17 (.294) over five contests.

Top pitching performers - RHP Robinson Martinez allowed one unearned run in 4.1 innings of relief (2 games), while walking none and striking out seven batters… RHP Tyler Carr struck out five hitters and surrendered one earned run over 6.0 innings in his two relief outings.

Gulf Coast League Phillies East - Gulf Coast League Northeast Division… 25-19, 1st place.

Top hitting performers - SS Logan Simmons batted .364 (4-11) with two home runs, four RBI and five runs scored. He homered in both games of a doubleheader on August 9, the first home runs of his professional career… OF James Smith went 5-for-15 (.333) with a triple and three runs scored.

Top pitching performers - RHP Victor Santos notched a quality start, allowing one earned run over 6.0 innings with no walks and six strikeouts… LHP Taylor Lehman did not allow a run in two relief appearances (3.0 IP) and struck out six batters.

Gulf Coast League Phillies West - Gulf Coast League Northwest Division… 25-20, 2nd place.

Top hitting performers - INF Christian Valerio batted .467 (7-15) with three doubles, four RBI, three steals and a 1.217 OPS… SS Luis Garcia hit .360 (9-25) with two doubles, one triple, three RBI and two stolen bases… 1B Stoney O'Brien went 8-for-21 (.381) with three doubles and three RBI… C Abrahan Gutierrez homered and batted .316 (6-19).

Top pitching performers - RHP Kyle Glogoski scattered one hit and three walks over 6.0 scoreless innings in his only start, while recording six strikeouts… RHP Jake Kinney yielded just one walk in two hitless relief appearances (3.0 IP) with four strikeouts.

Howard picks up the win for Lakewood

MLB.com @wboor

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

A couple of Braves pitching prospects showed why the organization's farm system is so highly touted as Kyle Wright led Triple-A Gwinnett to a 6-0 win over Louisville and Huascar Ynoa lifted Class A Advanced Florida to a 3-1 win over St. Lucie.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Monday.

A couple of Braves pitching prospects showed why the organization's farm system is so highly touted as Kyle Wright led Triple-A Gwinnett to a 6-0 win over Louisville and Huascar Ynoa lifted Class A Advanced Florida to a 3-1 win over St. Lucie.

The duo combined for 15 strikeouts over 13 scoreless innings, while only surrendering a pair of hits.

Wright, the Braves' No. 2 prospect (No. 24 overall), turned in his best performance since making his Triple-A debut on Aug. 3. The right-hander, a first-round pick from the 2017 Draft, cruised through seven scoreless frames.

Wright threw 56 of his 90 pitches for strikes, walked one and only gave up one hit.

Wright finishes with a strikeout

Meanwhile, Ynoa, who gave up nine runs in one inning in his last start, came through with a much-needed bounce back. The 20-year-old also gave up just one hit and struck out seven over six scoreless innings.

Other top prospect performances from Monday's action:

• No. 3 overall prospect Eloy Jimenez (White Sox No. 1) only had one hit, but certainly made it count as he blasted a three-run homer to highlight a five-run fifth inning for Triple-A Charlotte. Jimenez, who finished 1-for-4, has gone deep five times over the past 11 games and is hitting .351 through 35 games with Triple-A Charlotte.

Jimenez hits a three-run homer

• No. 21 overall prospect Francisco Mejia (Padres' No. 3) hit his second homer since joining Triple-A El Paso. The 22-year-old went 2-for-4, including the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, and is hitting .298 in the 16 games since he was acquired from the Indians.

Watch: Mejia goes yard

Athletics No. 5 prospect Austin Beck fell a homer short of the cycle, but still had a big game for Class A Beloit. Beck, the A's first-round pick from 2017, went 3-for-4 with a trio of RBIs as he boosted his average to .292.

Blue Jays No. 19 prospect Billy McKinney broke out of a recent slump with his first multihit game since July 31. In Triple-A Buffalo's win over Charlotte, McKinney finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Both of McKinney's hits went for extra bases as he hit his 14th homer and seventh triple of the season.

McKinney goes yard

Cardinals No. 8 prospect Elehuris Montero has been red-hot since he was promoted to Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Aug. 7. After his 3-for-5 performance, Montero has a hit in all six games since his promotion and is hitting .385. The 19-year-old also hit his first homer since the promotion and has an extra-base hit in three straight games.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Cubs No. 25 prospect Erling Moreno spun seven innings of one-run ball in his fifth straight quality start for Class A South Bend. The 21-year-old threw 57 of his 87 pitches for strikes as he struck out four and gave up five hits. Moreno didn't allow a run in his last start and has given up just one run over his last 13 2/3 innings.

Phillies No. 19 prospect Spencer Howard picked up his eighth win of the season with six solid innings for Class A Lakewood. The 2017 second-round pick yielded one run on four hits, struck out eight and didn't issue a walk. Howard has given up just one earned run over his last three starts (15 innings) and has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his past six starts.

Rangers prospects Bubba Thompson (No. 10) and Tyler Phillips (No. 14) put forth strong efforts for Class A Hickory. Thompson hit his sixth homer of the season as part of a 3-for-4, two-RBI day and Phillips threw five scoreless innings. The right-hander gave up five hits, struck out two and hasn't allowed a run in either of his past two starts (12 innings).

Royals No. 14 prospect Kyle Isbel, the organization's third-round pick from the 2018 Draft, stayed hot with his third straight multihit game for Class A Lexington. Isbel hit his sixth homer of the year as part of a 3-for-4 night and is 10-for-20 over his past five games. While Isbel was raking, Yefri Del Rosario (No. 24) was putting up zeros on the scoreboard. The right-hander fired six innings, walked one, gave up two hits and fanned five.

Watch: Isbel goes yard

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Phillies' nicknames for Players' Weekend

MLB.com

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Phillies will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Phillies will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

Shop for Players' Weekend gear
2018 Players' Weekend nicknames
Best nickname for every team
All you need to know about Players' Weekend

Jorge Alfaro: "EL OSO"
Victor Arano: "EL WEY"
Jake Arrieta: "SNAKE"
Justin Bour: "JB"
Asdrubal Cabrera: "CHIQUITÍN"

Video: Get ready, 2018 Players' Weekend is August 24-26

J.P. Crawford: "CRAW"
Austin Davis: "BIG FUDGE"
Enyel De Los Santos: "DE LOS SANTOS"
Seranthony Dominguez: "SIR ANTHONY"
Jerad Eickhoff: "EICK"
Zach Eflin: "EF"
Pedro Florimon: "DON RAMÓN"
Maikel Franco: "COMPA F"
Luis Garcia: "COMPA G"
Cesar Hernandez: "CESITA"
Odubel Herrera: "TORITO"
Rhys Hoskins: "BIG FELLA"
Tommy Hunter: "BIGGER FELLA"
Scott Kingery: "JETPAX"
Andrew Knapp: "KNAPP TIME"
Aaron Loup: "WOLF"
Adam Morgan: "A-MO"
Pat Neshek: "NESHEK"
Aaron Nola: "NOLS"
Roman Quinn: "ROME"
Nick Pivetta: "PIVETTA"
Wilson Ramos: "BUFFALO"
Carlos Santana: "SLAMTANA"
Vince Velasquez: "VICENTE"
Nick Williams: "NICKY DUBS"

Philadelphia Phillies

Hoskins' timely proposal to his longtime girlfriend

Since debuting on August 10 last season, Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins has had a ridiculously eventful year. After bursting onto the scene by knocking 18 dingers in his first 34 big league games, he's solidified himself as one of the faces of a young and exciting Phillies team that currently finds itself in the thick of things atop the NL East.

Each team's jersey number likely to be retired next

MLB.com @williamfleitch

Over the weekend, the Giants retired the No. 25 worn by Barry Bonds and the Tigers retired Jack Morris' No. 47. Bonds became the 12th Giant and Morris the seventh Tiger so honored (along with Jackie Robinson's No. 42 for both teams, of course). Bonds played for the Giants for 15 seasons and Morris pitched for the Tigers for 14 years and was just inducted into the Hall of Fame: It was a no-brainer for the Tigers once he was in.

This whole exercise got us thinking: Which active players might end up with their own jerseys retired? Who potentially has that immortality in their future? Thus, this week at The Thirty, in honor of Bonds and Morris, we take a look at the most likely active player to someday have their number retired for every team. Note the wording there, by the way: The player has to be active, but he does not have to be actively playing for the team that will retire his number at this specific moment.

Over the weekend, the Giants retired the No. 25 worn by Barry Bonds and the Tigers retired Jack Morris' No. 47. Bonds became the 12th Giant and Morris the seventh Tiger so honored (along with Jackie Robinson's No. 42 for both teams, of course). Bonds played for the Giants for 15 seasons and Morris pitched for the Tigers for 14 years and was just inducted into the Hall of Fame: It was a no-brainer for the Tigers once he was in.

This whole exercise got us thinking: Which active players might end up with their own jerseys retired? Who potentially has that immortality in their future? Thus, this week at The Thirty, in honor of Bonds and Morris, we take a look at the most likely active player to someday have their number retired for every team. Note the wording there, by the way: The player has to be active, but he does not have to be actively playing for the team that will retire his number at this specific moment.

Now, some of these teams have a rule that they won't retire anyone's number who wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame. In this case, if there is no obvious Hall of Fame candidate, when necessary, we'll pick the player most likely to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. But the general principle remains: Who's the active player most likely to go down in history for each specific franchise? Here's our list.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays
19: Jose Bautista

This is probably the last year for Bautista, who is peddling his wares for the Mets, his second team this season. This jersey retirement probably won't end up happening, so they may just have to do a statue of his bat flip.

Video: MLB Tonight uses Statcast™ on Bautista's bat flip

Orioles
10: Adam Jones

Jones may be traded in August, but he'll be forever an Oriole. He's Captain America for crying out loud.

Rays
3: Evan Longoria

He's the best player in franchise history by a wide, wide margin.

Red Sox
15: Dustin Pedroia

Pedroia is already one of the franchise's 10 best players by WAR (per Baseball Reference) in history, and if he ever gets healthy again, he'll pass David Ortiz (whose No. 34 is already retired) in a matter of weeks. Also, those two World Series championships don't hurt.

Video: 2007 WS Gm1: Dustin Pedroia leads off with homer
Yankees
99: Aaron Judge

It's obviously early, but it's not like anyone else is clamoring for the number.

AL CENTRAL

Indians
12: Francisco Lindor

This is a tough call: Corey Kluber (28) is right there, too, but Lindor could be here for decades to come as a franchise icon.

Royals
13: Salvador Perez

Anybody else get the feeling that come 2028 we're going to be having the same Hall of Fame arguments about Perez that we're having about Yadier Molina right now?

Video: Perez receives World Series MVP Award in presentation

Tigers
24: Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera will end up having been a Tiger for 16 years by the time his contract is over … and heck, maybe even longer.

Video: WS2012 Gm3: Miggy receives trophy for Triple Crown

Twins
7: Joe Mauer

Remember, Kent Hrbek has a statue outside Target Field. If he has a statue, they should probably just name the stadium after Mauer.

White Sox
49: Chris Sale

Probably pushing it here, but if he ends up spending longer than seven years -- the amount of time he spent with the White Sox -- with any other team, we'll be surprised.

AL WEST

Angels
27: Mike Trout

Sorry, Vlad.

Astros
27: Jose Altuve

The jersey might be retired before the player is.

Video: Watch Jose Altuve's top 10 moments of the 2017 season

Athletics
26: Matt Chapman

Without question the toughest call on the board, but we'll just imagine a theoretical future where he turns into Brooks Robinson and plays with the A's for the next 15 years.

Mariners
51: Ichiro Suzuki

He's not technically retired yet, remember.

Video: A look at Ichiro's first and last hits in the Majors

Rangers
29: Adrian Beltre

If only he could have won one of those World Series…

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves
5: Freddie Freeman

He's still only 28 years old. The guy the Braves didn't trade years ago may end up being an Atlanta lifer … and perhaps someday a champion.

Marlins
27: Giancarlo Stanton

He's the Marlins' all-time leader in bWAR, by a significant margin. But by the time he retires, will anyone remember he ever played here?

Video: Stanton caps off historic 2017 with NL MVP Award

Mets
5: David Wright

Oh, what could have been.

Nationals
31: Max Scherzer

He's under contract with the Nationals through 2021, which gives him a lot of time to win some more Cy Young Awards.

Video: BOS@WSH: Scherzer records 1,000th K with Nationals

Phillies
26: Chase Utley

We've got five years to debate his Hall of Fame case. OK, probably 10, at least.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers
8: Ryan Braun

Is this crazy? This is probably crazy. But we might feel a lot differently about Braun's offense in 20 years than we do now.

Cardinals
5: Albert Pujols

Molina might end up having his jersey retired as well, but the Cardinals haven't given out No. 5 since Pujols left and surely won't ever again.

Video: WS2011 Gm3: Pujols' trio of homers ties Series record

Cubs
17: Kris Bryant

Incredibly tough call between Bryant and Anthony Rizzo here, but we'll go with the guy with the MVP Award and maybe some more coming.

Video: Bryant continues magical year with NL MVP Award

Pirates
22: Andrew McCutchen

Still pretty strange that his old team has a better record than his new one does.

Reds
19: Joey Votto

At this point, Votto will probably retire a Red, and maybe as the best Red since the Big Red Machine.

NL WEST

D-backs
44: Paul Goldschmidt

Goldschmidt might have gotten started too late in his career to have much of a shot at the Hall of Fame, but he'll be beloved in Phoenix forever.

Dodgers
22: Clayton Kershaw

We'll see what happens this offseason, but 11 years of brilliance so far is plenty.

Video: Kershaw sets Dodgers, MLB record with strikeout mark

Giants
28: Buster Posey

Barely edging out Madison Bumgarner, if just because Posey is less likely to ever play anywhere else.

Padres
23: Fernando Tatis Jr.

Heck, why not?

Rockies
28: Nolan Arenado

The question, as with many Rockies: How long will he remain a Rockie?

Video: Must C Cycle: Arenado gets cycle with walk-off homer

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Eflin optioned to make room for Bour on roster

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- The newest member of the Phillies joined the club in San Diego on Saturday. Justin Bour arrived in the visiting locker room at Petco Park clad in red and grey, a stark difference from the Marlins uniform he donned less than 48 hours ago.

A corresponding move had to transpire to make room for Bour on the 25-man roster. The Phillies optioned starting pitcher Zach Eflin to Triple-A, a rather surprising move, given Eflin's success in the rotation this season and the Phillies' season-long practice of carrying 13 pitchers.

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SAN DIEGO -- The newest member of the Phillies joined the club in San Diego on Saturday. Justin Bour arrived in the visiting locker room at Petco Park clad in red and grey, a stark difference from the Marlins uniform he donned less than 48 hours ago.

A corresponding move had to transpire to make room for Bour on the 25-man roster. The Phillies optioned starting pitcher Zach Eflin to Triple-A, a rather surprising move, given Eflin's success in the rotation this season and the Phillies' season-long practice of carrying 13 pitchers.

View Full Game Coverage

With a doubleheader scheduled against the Mets next week, manager Gabe Kapler said it's likely Eflin won't miss his next start. Teams are permitted to carry 26 players on doubleheader days, so Eflin could be recalled to start one of the games.

Kapler called the move an opportunity to increase a "marginal advantage" in the National League East. Going into Saturday, the Phillies were tied with the Braves for the division lead.

"We made the decision with the understanding that it's possible [Eflin] continues to make all of his starts for us," Kapler said. "Right now, we have to believe that the division is going to come down to one game. If that's true, having an additional player on our roster that we can use right now is that marginal edge."

There was speculation that the player to be optioned would be J.P. Crawford or Scott Kingery

"[Eflin's] a professional through and through," Kapler said. "He understands that we're going to try and get every marginal advantage through the end of the season that we possibly can. Sometimes, one guy takes it on the chin so that 25 guys, as a group and as an organization, can prosper."

Worth noting 

• Bour was not in the starting lineup against the Padres on Saturday. He will primarily serve as a left-handed power hitter off the bench, with Carlos Santana expected to see the bulk of time at first base. It's a new role for Bour, who had been the Marlins' starting first baseman since 2015. 

Video: Bour discusses trade, excitement to join Phils

"[The Phillies] have been great with communicating, letting me know things ahead of time, where my role is, and stuff like that," Bour said. "But for me, all I want to do is come and help the team win. ... You play the game of baseball for these last couple months, when you're making a playoff push and you're playing meaningful games. It's definitely a change of pace I'm very much looking forward to."

Wilson Ramos was to begin his rehab assignment in Class A Advanced Clearwater on Saturday. Kapler said the plan was for Ramos to play five innings Saturday and serve as the designated hitter Sunday, before getting a day off to be evaluated.

"From a results standpoint, we just want to see him healthy," Kapler said. "One of the ways to get there is making sure he has the reps under his belt, get a little timing and rhythm at the plate, and then he's ready to roll."

Ramos has been on the disabled list since July 18 with a left hamstring strain. He has yet to play a game with the Phillies since being acquired from Tampa Bay at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Katie Woo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.

Philadelphia Phillies, Justin Bour, Zach Eflin

Phillies back in first place as bats come alive

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- With less than two months left in the regular season, the Phillies are aware that each game is crucial as they battle for first place in the National League East.

They also know they have to score runs to win, something they struggled with in their previous two contests, losing shutouts in back-to-back games for the second time this season. But the Phillies came out firing Saturday night against Padres starter Walker Lockett, and rolled to a 5-1 victory at Petco Park.

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SAN DIEGO -- With less than two months left in the regular season, the Phillies are aware that each game is crucial as they battle for first place in the National League East.

They also know they have to score runs to win, something they struggled with in their previous two contests, losing shutouts in back-to-back games for the second time this season. But the Phillies came out firing Saturday night against Padres starter Walker Lockett, and rolled to a 5-1 victory at Petco Park.

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The Phillies' first win at Petco Park since Aug. 7, 2016, put them back into sole possession of first place in the division, as the Braves lost to the Brewers, 4-2.

Video: PHI@SD: Cabrera plates Williams with an RBI double

Riding a scoreless drought of 19 innings, the Phillies needed only three batters in this one to get on the board. Cesar Hernandez walked to lead off the game and Nick Williams tripled him home two batters later. Williams came around to score, courtesy of Asdrubal Cabrera, who roped his 26th double of the season.

"Any time you're able to jump on the opposition early with a guy like Aaron Nola on the mound it gives you a lot of confidence," manager Gabe Kapler said. "Our guys showed that in the dugout. In fact, I actually thought the energy in the dugout preceded the outcome. I thought that was kind of cool. Our guys were especially energetic going into today's game."

Video: PHI@SD: Williams opens the scoring with an RBI triple

Whatever energy the Phillies brought to the dugout, they made sure to carry it with them throughout the game. They busted out the long ball in the middle innings with Maikel Franco smashing a solo shot in the fourth and Hernandez following suit in the fifth.

Hernandez's homer marked his 10th of the season, setting a single-season career high. Franco's blast traveled a Statcast-projected 383 feet, while Hernandez's was measured at 381 feet. It was Franco's 19th round-tripper of the year, moving him into a tie with Cabrera for second-most on the team. Since June 23, Franco is hitting .327 with 10 home runs and 22 RBIs.

"Early on I thought we did a really good job of working counts, like we always do," Kapler added. "We got the big hits tonight. That's probably the biggest difference."

Video: PHI@SD: Hernandez clubs his 10th homer of the season

AARON THE ACE
Nola continued his season of dominance, holding the Padres scoreless for six frames. He gave up four hits, walked three and struck out five en route to his 13th win -- the second-highest win total in the NL.

It didn't come easy, though. Nola struggled with command early and had to maneuver through a bases-loaded jam in the second.

Video: PHI@SD: Nola strikes out 5 over 6 scoreless innings

"It's always good scoring early," Nola said. "We've been in kind of a rut a little bit, but we know what we have and it's just a matter of time until our offense turns around like it did tonight. We have confidence in them, we have confidence in ourselves knowing we're going to score runs."

Nola lowered his ERA to 2.28, tied with Washington's Max Scherzer for second-lowest in the NL, behind the Mets' Jacob deGrom (1.77). Nola's worked at least six innings in 20 of his 24 starts this season and has posted a 1.36 ERA over his last five starts on the road.

"It's definitely time to highlight Nola again," Kapler said. "He did a great job for us and he had to work early on. He had some traffic and some jams to work out of. He did a tremendous job working out of those jams."

Video: PHI@SD: Nola induces a groundout to escape a jam 

HE SAID IT
"I think it's an indication and evidence that our players have developed. That's probably the most notable thing. We were a good team in Spring Training, we felt confident in that, but we also knew that in order for us to have a really good year we were going to have our players take some steps forward. I think we've seen that with a number of our guys." -- Kapler, on the 65-51 Phillies' turnaround from last season, when they went 66-96

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
A Padres threat in the bottom of the ninth was thwarted by a close play. Pinch-hitter Travis Jankowski nearly beat out a fielder's choice, but was called out. The Padres challenged the call, but it was confirmed.

Video: PHI@SD: Padres challenge, but call is confirmed

UP NEXT
Jake Arrieta will face off against Padres rookie Joey Lucchesi in the final contest of the three-game series in San Diego. In his last outing, Arrieta pitched eight scoreless innings against the D-backs, but was saddled with a no-decision. One of his shortest starts of the season came against the Padres on July 20, when he was tagged for five runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings. First pitch is scheduled for 3:40 p.m. ET.

Katie Woo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.

Philadelphia Phillies, Aaron Nola

Phillies acquire slugger Bour from Marlins

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have found a left-handed power bat for their bench for the final weeks of the season.

The Phillies announced Friday afternoon that they have acquired first baseman Justin Bour and cash from the Marlins for Minor League left-hander McKenzie Mills. The deal immediately jogged memories of the Phills' trade that brought Matt Stairs from Toronto to Philly in August 2008.

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have found a left-handed power bat for their bench for the final weeks of the season.

The Phillies announced Friday afternoon that they have acquired first baseman Justin Bour and cash from the Marlins for Minor League left-hander McKenzie Mills. The deal immediately jogged memories of the Phills' trade that brought Matt Stairs from Toronto to Philly in August 2008.

Bour hit .227 with 19 home runs, 54 RBIs and a .759 OPS in 447 plate appearances with the Marlins. He has an .835 OPS against right-handed pitching and, interestingly, he has hit .304 with two home runs, six RBIs, 16 walks and a 1.227 OPS in 11 games against the second-place Braves, whom the Phillies play seven times in their final 11 games.

Video: Phillies acquire Justin Bour from Marlins

Bour could start occasionally at first base, but the more likely scenario is that he will become a weapon off the bench for Phils manager Gabe Kapler.

"I envision him being a dynamic, power-hitting weapon off the bench," Kapler said. "The plate discipline fits right in with our lineup. He's really hurt the Braves. I think that matters. He's going to be a tough out against a right-handed reliever, against a right-handed starter. We're going to look for ways to be opportunistic in deploying him."

Philadelphia has primarily gone with a four-man bench this season, but general manager Matt Klentak emphasized Bour's offensive value as the main reason the club selected the 30-year-old off waivers.

"We liked the profile of the player," Klentak said. "He fits our style of offense very well. He works counts, takes walks, hits the ball out of the ballpark. We've been thinking about our bench for a while now and trying to create some versatility on our bench and add some different weapons. Obviously with Roman Quinn joining the team recently, that adds a certain element to our bench. But what we've been lacking is a big power hitter on our bench."

The Phillies' bench for the moment includes catcher Andrew Knapp, outfielder Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery and infielder J.P. Crawford, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list (broken left hand) on Friday. Once Bour arrives, Kingery or Crawford is expected to be optioned, although the Phillies could option a reliever if they decided to keep five bench players for the first time this season. Bour essentially takes the bench job that players like Dylan Cozens and Mitch Walding have occupied at times.

Philadelphia's bench will change again whenever catcher Wilson Ramos is activated from the 10-day disabled list and the roster expands as early as Sept. 1.

Bour, who should benefit from playing half his games at cozy Citizens Bank Park compared to cavernous Marlins Park, cannot become a free agent until after the 2020 season. It remains to be seen what will happen with Bour in the future, but for the moment, the Phils hope he can hit a few home runs down the stretch. And, maybe, hit a moonshot like Stairs did in the 2008 postseason.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Bour, the Phillies designated right-hander Jake Thompson for assignment.

Mills, 22, went 2-5 with a 3.51 ERA in 20 appearances (16 starts) for Class A Clearwater. The Phils acquired him from the Nationals in July 2017 for Howie Kendrick.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Justin Bour

Irvin fires 7 shutout frames for Iron Pigs

MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Sunday.

Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso, the No. 63 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, added to his prodigious power numbers on Sunday with another home run -- his 29th of the season between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas -- and a pair of RBIs to bring his total to 105, the most of any player in the Minor or Major Leagues, in a 3-1 win over Reno.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Sunday.

Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso, the No. 63 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, added to his prodigious power numbers on Sunday with another home run -- his 29th of the season between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas -- and a pair of RBIs to bring his total to 105, the most of any player in the Minor or Major Leagues, in a 3-1 win over Reno.

Watch: Alonso goes yard

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

The 23-year-old first baseman has homered in five of his last seven games for Las Vegas, and is hitting .260 with a .931 OPS in 47 Triple-A games. He slashed .314/.440/.573 with 15 homers in 65 Double-A games before being promoted.

Other top prospect performances on Sunday:

• A trio of D-backs prospects had big games Sunday. Jasrado Chisholm (No. 2) and Pavin Smith (No. 4) each shined in Class A Advanced Visalia's 7-3 victory over Modesto, while No. 6 prospect Alek Thomas continued his hot streak at the plate for Rookie level Missoula in its 9-6 win over Orem.

Chisholm went 3-for-4 with a double and a three-run homer, his sixth of the season. The 20-year-old shortstop is 9-for-18 with a pair of homers over his last four games, and is slashing .349/.393/.639 in 20 games since his promotion from Class A Kane County. In the same game, Smith also went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. The first baseman is hitting .245/.340/.379 with 10 homers in 103 games this season.

Thomas went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two walks out of the leadoff spot for Missoula. The second-round selection in this year's MLB Draft is hitting .421 (16-for-38) with three doubles and two homers in nine Pioneer League games.

Dodgers No. 1 prospect Alex Verdugo, the No. 28 prospect overall, went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and two RBIs in Triple-A Oklahoma City's 9-0 victory over Memphis. He's hitting .346/.395/.500 with nine home runs in 76 Triple-A games this year.

Watch: Verdugo launches homer

Yordan Alvarez, the Astros' No. 3 prospect and the No. 41 prospect overall, belted a solo home run as part of a 2-for-3 performance in Triple-A Fresno's 9-4 win over Albuquerque. Since being promoted from Double-A Corpus Christi, the 21-year-old outfielder is slashing .240/.342/.462 with seven homers in 30 games.

Watch: MiLB Video

Meanwhile, another Houston prospect, Alex McKenna (No. 30), went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in Class A (Short Season) Tri-City's 7-3 win over Vermont, improving his line to .328/.423/.534 with five homers in 32 games after being selected in the fourth round of this year's Draft.

• Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez, the Nationals' No. 11 prospect, was dominant over six innings in Triple-A Syracuse's 8-1 victory over Gwinnett. He yielded a run on six hits, walking two and striking out 11. The performance lowered his season ERA to 3.40 in 19 starts between Double-A Harrisburg (13) and Syracuse (six).

Watch: MiLB Video

• A pair of Red Sox prospects turned in strong performances in Double-A Portland's 6-2 victory over Akron. Boston's No. 1 prospect (and No. 99 overall), Michael Chavis, doubled and drove in three as part of a 2-for-3 afternoon, while No. 6 prospect Bobby Dalbec doubled, homered and drove in three runs of his own while going 2-for-4.

Watch: MiLB Video

Chavis, a first baseman, is hitting .309/.404/.556 with five homers in 22 Double-A games. Dalbec, a third baseman, has been red hot in nine games for Portland since being promoted from Class A Advanced Salem (.256/.372/.573, 26 homers), batting .364 with five homers.

Padres No. 10 prospect Cal Quantrill tossed six strong innings in Triple-A El Paso's 4-1 win at Sacramento, giving up a run on six hits, walking one and fanning six. The No. 8 overall selection in the 2016 Draft has given up three runs in 12 Triple-A innings since his promotion from Double-A San Antonio.

Watch: Quantrill notches strikeout

• Left-hander Cole Irvin, the Phillies' No. 10 prospect, blanked Louisville for seven innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley's 4-0 victory. He surrendered just three hits, walked three and struck out two. In 23 starts for Lehigh Valley this season, he owns a 2.85 ERA.

Watch: MiLB Video

• Patrick Mazeika, the Mets' No. 28 prospect, went 3-for-3 with his seventh home run of the season during Double-A Binghamton's 8-5 loss to Reading. The catcher is hitting .218/.322/.342 in 72 games this season.

Athletics No. 27 prospect Parker Dunshee gave Double-A Midland 7 1/3 scoreless frames in its 2-0 victory over Arkansas. The right-hander has turned in scoreless performances in three of his last four outings, lowering his season ERA to 2.51 in 21 appearances (19 starts) between Class A Advanced Stockton and Midland (nine starts).

Watch: MiLB Video

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Shutout drops Phils into tie for NL East lead

MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Zach Eflin toed the rubber at Petco Park on Friday night, prepared to square off against the team that drafted him with the 33rd overall pick in the 2012 Draft. He spent a year in the Padres' organization, before being traded to the Dodgers in December 2014, then was sent to Philadelphia one day later to complete the Dodgers' deal for Jimmy Rollins.

However, a lack of run support and more runners left on base than hits collected doomed Eflin and the Phillies, as they dropped the first of three games to the Padres, 2-0. It was the second straight shutout loss for the Phillies, who fell into a tie for first place in the National League East with the Braves, thanks to Atlanta's 10-1 win against the Brewers.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN DIEGO -- Zach Eflin toed the rubber at Petco Park on Friday night, prepared to square off against the team that drafted him with the 33rd overall pick in the 2012 Draft. He spent a year in the Padres' organization, before being traded to the Dodgers in December 2014, then was sent to Philadelphia one day later to complete the Dodgers' deal for Jimmy Rollins.

However, a lack of run support and more runners left on base than hits collected doomed Eflin and the Phillies, as they dropped the first of three games to the Padres, 2-0. It was the second straight shutout loss for the Phillies, who fell into a tie for first place in the National League East with the Braves, thanks to Atlanta's 10-1 win against the Brewers.

View Full Game Coverage

"I probably had a little more butterflies than normal, just because I know a lot of guys on the team now and that's the team that drafted me and gave me a chance," Eflin said. "Being able to compete against those guys was really fun. I've been looking forward to this day ever since I got traded, so it was fun to finally make it happen."

Video: PHI@SD: Eflin strikes out 8, allows 2 runs on 5 hits

Whatever nerves Eflin had, he hardly showed it, fanning eight Friars and allowing just two runs through six innings. His offense wasn't able to back him up, however. The Phillies had opportunities, but stranded 10 runners.

"Sometimes you go through stretches like this," Rhys Hoskins said. "It happened I think in early June, obviously you hope to limit them, but it's the game of baseball, man. These things happen. We're having pretty good at-bats. The results just aren't there."

The Phillies couldn't find an answer for Padres rookie Jacob Nix, who excelled in his Major League debut, tossing six scoreless frames and scattering four hits. He retired 13 of his last 14 batters and struck out four.

"I see it more as kind of the ebbs and the flows of a Major League Baseball season from an offensive perspective," manager Gabe Kapler said. "I have said that a lot. ... Sometimes we see three or four games in a row where we have trouble driving in runs. We have trouble hitting with runners in scoring position. We have trouble getting rallies going and having big innings. Then we see stretches where we do. So I just don't want to get too caught up in a three-, four-, five-game stretch."

Eflin maneuvered his way through the Padres lineup with ease, but ran into trouble with Austin Hedges, who was drafted by the Padres one year before Eflin, but never played in the Minor Leagues with him. Hedges tagged Eflin for two hits, including a home run.

Video: PHI@SD: Hedges launches a solo home run to center

Eflin gave up a single to Hedges in the second, and former Phillie Freddy Galvis singled Hedges in two batters later. Hedges got the upper hand once more in the fourth, this time for his ninth home run on the season. 

"That was probably the most upsetting pitch I had," Eflin said. "I took a little bit off of it because I kind of wanted to put it exactly where I wanted it, instead of just bringing it back and firing it. That one kind of punched me in the gut."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Can't capitalize in the crunch: The scoring opportunities for Philadelphia were far from scarce. Their best chance to score came early in the first, when they loaded the bases against Nix, who was facing the heart of an order in the first inning of his career. Nick Williams and Asdrubal Cabrera sandwiched singles around Carlos Santana's walk, but Odubel Herrera softly tapped a groundout to second base to end the threat.

The Phils posed another threat in the ninth inning, when Herrera and Maikel Franco led off the inning with singles off Padres closer Kirby Yates. Yates struck out the next two batters, however, and Cesar Hernandez tapped a roller back to Yates for the final out of the game.

"We did have him [Nix] on the ropes and we let him off the hook," Kapler said. "We can do a better job of stepping on guys when we have the opportunity to."

Video: PHI@SD: Yates gets Hernandez to ground out for save

HE SAID IT
"They're doing their job. They really are. We can't ask for more from any of the arms, bullpen included. Starters have been outstanding, like they've been all year. The bullpen's been strong. We can't complain about that as a team." -- Hoskins

UP NEXT
Aaron Nola (12-3, 2.37 ERA) will take the hill against San Diego's Walker Lockett on Saturday. Nola is coming off a no-decision against Miami, in which he tossed six frames and allowed two earned runs on seven hits. Nola has yet to face the Padres this season, but is 1-2 lifetime against the club with a 3.21 ERA over four starts. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. PT.

Katie Woo covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.

Philadelphia Phillies, Zach Eflin