By Peter Gleason
So, the Phillies are still in second place, though they have pulled within three games of the NL East-leading Mets, as they head to LA for a series with the Dodgers.
And they have their erstwhile ace, Aaron Nola, to thank.
He allowed three hits and struck out nine, and the Phils waxed the Yanks 7-0 to reach 32-31.
Odubel Herrera, Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto combined to go 7 for 13 with a double, a triple, four runs scored and five RBIs.
The Phils have won four straight games and three straight series during a 6-1 homestand, giving the Phillies a winning record for the first time since they were 22-21 before play on May 20.
“We have a team that can be an all-around, really good team,” said Andrew McCutchen, who was 2 for 3 with a run and two RBIs. “We can hit, we can pitch and we can field. We can be that type of team.”
Nola (5-4) had been 1-3 with a 5.68 and .299 opponents’ batting average in his previous six starts. He allowed two singles to DJ LeMahieu and a double to Odor.
Nola walked one, throwing 103 pitches in 7 2/3 innings while possessing sharper fastball command than he exhibited recently.
“I always have my confidence,” Nola said. “I just had some things not going my way. It was frustrating not getting out fifth inning three of the last four. To myself, that’s not what I usually do. I want to go deep into games and put my team in a position to win. Not having the command that I’m used to having is frustrating. But it doesn’t keep me from keep working on in throwing sessions and bullpen sessions. And I always go into the next game with confidence.”
Phillies manager Joe Girardi shuffled his rotation to keep Nola on four days’ rest despite two off days last week. Nola had six days off before his previous start.
“He wasn’t getting on the mound enough,” Girardi said. “We’re trying to be proactive here because we worry about the back end. But there are times when a guy gets out of his rhythm. He tweaked a few things.”
New York, missing Aaron Judge due to back spasms, finished with four hits against Nola, relievers Connor Brogdon and Enyel De Los Santos.
Segura had three hits and became the first Phillies player since 1953 with three or more hits and two or more RBIs in three straight games. He is hitting .424 with seven RBIs in June, raising his average to .339
Rhys Hoskins was 0 for 4 and is hitless in 26 at-bats.
Realmuto singled in the opening run in the first, and Herrera’s RBI double and Segura’s two-run single built the 4-0 lead.