Phillies

Phillies Vs. Yankees: Aaron Nola Leads Phils to Easy Win

The Phillies are 7-2 in June, they're making solid contact and cutting down on the strikeouts. They might be turning a corner.

Phillies cut down on K's and ride Aaron Nola to sweep Yankees originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

On the final day of May, the Phillies were thumped 11-1 by the Cincinnati Reds. They finished the month four games under .500 and in third place in the National League East, five games out of first place.

The next day, the calendar flipped to June and before that night's game in Cincinnati, Phillies players talked about the importance of hitting a symbolic reset button.

They went out and laid a 17-3 beating on the Reds that night.

Afterward, Alec Bohm revealed what was talked about in the clubhouse before that game.

"New month. Deep breath. Let's go," he said. "What happened the first two months is in the past. We're moving forward. Go out and dominate the month."

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So far, the Phillies have done that.

They completed a two-game sweep of the New York Yankees with a 7-0 win at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon to run their record to 7-2 in June. At 32-31, the Phils are over .500 for the first time since May 19 and in second place in the NL East.

The Phillies' streak of three straight walk-off victories came to an end Sunday, not that anyone was complaining. After Hector Neris had blown saves forcing the team to rally in the 10th inning in the previous two games, everyone was ready for a nice, easy, breezy win and Aaron Nola and the bats delivered.

Nola pitched 7⅔ shutout innings and the offense produced 12 hits. Jean Segura had his third straight three-hit game.

If winning six out of eight games was the best thing that happened on the homestand, Nola's performance in this game was the second-best thing. The right-hander has not pitched up to his standards most of the season. He's struggled with command of his fastball and run high pitch counts. He carried an ERA of 5.68 in his previous six starts into Sunday's outing. He seemed genuinely dejected after his previous start in which he allowed seven hits, including two homers, and four runs over five innings in a loss to Atlanta.

Nola found it all in this one. He held the Yankees to three hits and a walk over his 7⅔ innings. He struck out nine. He threw 103 pitches, 75 of which were strikes. Nola featured three pitches: four-seam fastball, curveball and changeup. All were sharp. He got five swings and misses on the fastball, eight on the curveball and two on the changeup, which was an excellent complement to the fastball and curveball.

Offensively, the Phillies are getting hits and cutting down on strikeouts. They have not homered in three straight games but have 35 hits in those contests. Often plagued by strikeouts, Phillies hitters had just five Sunday and 17 in the last three games.

The top of the order continues to produce. Odubel Herrera had two more hits in the leadoff spot and scored two runs. Segura, the No. 2 hitter, had two RBIs to go with his three hits. J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen both had two hits and two RBIs.

The Phillies are playing some of their best ball of the season as they head to the West Coast for three against the Dodgers, beginning Monday night, and three against the Giants later in the week.

It's a big test for the Phils. After a 6-2 homestand, they seem ready for it.

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