PHILADELPHIA — One other stellar efficiency from their ace and an enormous homer from their greatest pinch-hitter have lifted the Philadelphia Phillies to heights they have not reached in seven years.
Aaron Nola took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Nick Williams hit his third pinch-hit homer of the yr within the eighth and the Phillies moved into first within the NL East Saturday with a 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
“It is fairly cool,” Nola mentioned. “It is the primary time I have been in first place since I have been up. We nonetheless need to go play baseball. We obtained some good groups arising.”
Nola didn’t permit successful till Russell Martin’s RBI single to left within the seventh, which tied the sport at 1. After cruising via the primary six innings, Nola got here again out to work the seventh after a 13-minute rain delay — the second quick delay of the sport — and walked Justin Smoak and Yangervis Solarte earlier than Martin got here via, ending the right-hander’s day.
“I actually wasn’t serious about the no-hitter greater than `Let’s tie this recreation up,” Martin mentioned. “Simply tried to battle. He was making powerful pitches all night time lengthy. I lastly obtained a changeup that was up somewhat bit and located a gap. I will positively take it. We positively did not wish to get no-hit for the second time this yr.”
Seattle’s James Paxton no-hit Toronto on Could eight.
Nola struck out 10 and walked three. He threw 113 pitches, matching a profession excessive set on June 27, 2017.
“They have been taking some good pitches,” Nola mentioned. “I used to be simply making an attempt to get forward, and I felt like I did that fairly nicely. I simply thought they type of ran my pitch depend up. They laid off some good pitches. The protection helped me.”
Williams turned on an Zero-1 cutter from Joe Biagini (Zero-Four) to interrupt the tie and permit Philadelphia to take a half-game lead over Atlanta within the NL East. It was the newest in a season the Phillies had been in first for the reason that conclusion of the 2011 season, after they gained 102 video games.
“I used to be simply in search of one thing up, one thing to drive. One thing that I might hit arduous. Particularly in that state of affairs. I used to be making an attempt to get one thing going,” Williams mentioned.
Williams leads the majors in pinch-hit RBI (eight) and whole bases (19). His three pinch-hit homers tied Miami’s Justin Boar for tops in baseball.
Seranthony Dominguez (1-Zero), who relieved Nola, allowed one hit in 1 1/Three innings for his first main league win. Luis Garcia labored the ninth for his first save in his second alternative.
Jaime Garcia allowed 5 hits in seven innings and gave up his solely run on Maikel Franco’s homer main off the fifth.
TRYING SOMETHING NEW
Martin performed his first profession recreation at shortstop. The longtime catcher has made 33 appearances at third base and 4 at second. The Blue Jays have used seven gamers at shortstop this season.
The final participant age 35 or older to make his first begin at shortstop was Jeff Cirillo, who was 36 years, 255 days on June 5, 2006. Martin was 35 years, 100 days on Saturday.
“As a child rising up, my dream was to at all times play shortstop on the main league stage,” Martin mentioned. “I obtained away from it after I obtained transformed to being a catcher after my first season in professional ball. However I’ve at all times felt like I’ve had the flexibility to play there. Getting that chance was superior.”
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (6-Three, Three.97 ERA) will return to the place his profession began for the ultimate recreation of the sequence. Happ pitched with the Phillies in 2009-10 earlier than being packaged as a part of the commerce that landed Roy Oswalt in Philadelphia. Happ went seven innings, permitting two earned runs on three hits, within the Blue Jays’ win over the Angels on Tuesday.
Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (Four-2, Three.23) has gained his final three begins, permitting one earned run in 19 innings whereas hanging out 25 and strolling two. The 25-year-old native of Victoria, British Columbia, will probably be making his first profession begin in opposition to the Blue Jays.