The Atlanta Braves could have played another hour against the Philadelphia Phillies and they might not have solved Zach Eflin.
Eflin struck out six and walked none in his first career complete game and first major-league win, leading the Phillies to a 5-1 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday night.
Eflin, a first-round pick in the 2012 draft by the San Diego Padres, needed just 2 hours, 8 minutes to win for the first time this season in five starts.
“The less pitches the better,” he said, smiling.
Eflin stood on the mound shaking from excitement as the final pitch of the game was squeezed for the third out.
Philadelphia’s rookie right-hander simply breezed past the Braves.
“I was just out there with loads of confidence,” Eflin said.
Eflin, acquired in a 2014 trade that sent Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowed three homers and nine runs in 2 2-3 innings in his June 14 debut against Toronto.
He lost his next start, then rebounded with no-decisions in two straight solid six-inning outings.
Eflin certainly found his groove against Atlanta. He threw just 92 crisp pitches and breezed against the hapless Braves in his longest outing of the season in any level of baseball.
He became the first Phillies pitcher since Mike Williams in July 1992 to toss a complete game for his first win and he’s the first Phillies rookie to throw a complete game since Vance Worley in July 2011.
“It’s something you can’t really describe, just being around these guys,” Eflin said.
Eflin went deep in the game and the Phillies went deep at the plate.
Maikel Franco homered for the third straight game, and the Phillies hit four overall. Peter Bourjos, Cody Asche and Tommy Joseph all hit solo shots for the Phillies.
Eflin had some help from a generally punchless offense that has shown signs of coming around headed into the All-Star break. The Phillies have scored at least seven runs in three straight games and have won seven of eight overall.
“I think everybody puts together good at-bats and that puts pressure on the pitcher to make his pitches,” Bourjos said. “He threw some pitches over the plate and we hit some home runs.”
Bourjos extended his hitting streak to 14 games and opened the home run derby with his fourth of the season in the first inning against Mike Foltynewicz (2-3). Asche hit his fourth in the fourth and Franco (16) and Joseph (9) both went deep in the sixth.
Foltynewicz struck out five and gave up eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.
“When I had two strikes, I got amped up a little and started to overthrow,” he said.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran was scratched from Wednesday’s start in the three-game series finale for Tyrell Jenkins. Teheran returned to Atlanta to be treated for an infection on his right thigh.
The Braves are hopeful Teheran will start this weekend in a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox.
Phillies: RHP Andrew Bailey is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. … LHP Daniel Stumpf has had his rehab assignment transferred to Lehigh Valley.
Boujos is the first Phillie to hit in 14 straight games since Rollins had a 15-game streak in 2014. … Franco is the first Phillie to homer in three straight games since Darin Ruf in 2013 and the first to have an RBI in five straight games since Ryan Howard in July 2015.
Braves reliever Dario Alvarez struck out four in 1 1-3 innings and has struck out 19 of the 35 batters he has faced this season. He’s averaging 18.41 strikeouts per nine innings pitched (15 SO/7.1).
Braves: Teheran is just 3-7 but was named to the NL All-Star team for the second time. He was the lone Brave selected.
Phillies: CF Odubel Herrera was the only Phillie named to the NL All-Star team. He entered ranked first in four-hit games with three and had two separate hitting streaks of at least 10 games.
Herrera, batting .302, said through an interpreter he was proud to represent the Phillies and burst into laughter when he was good-naturedly asked about participating in the home run derby. He has 10 homers.
Jenkins (0-1, 5.79 ERA) goes against Phillies RHP Jeremy Hellickson (6-6, 4-06).