By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Philadelphia Phillies have struggled in recent years. They also struggled early this season, as Gabe Kapler made questionable mistakes to begin his tenure.
He seems to have figured it out. The Phillies defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia.
With the win, the Phillies are in first place of the National League East. This is the first time this has happened since the 2011 season when the team won 102 games.
The Phillies moved into first place with a loss by the Atlanta Braves in Boston, Mass. to the Boston Red Sox. The Braves have lost three straight games.
Since April 5th, the Phillies have the third-best win percentage in all of baseball. They have a .628 win percentage, trailing the Boston Red Sox (.669), and the New York Yankees (.683).
The Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a home run. Maikel Franco hit the ball 348 feet over the left-field wall.
The Blue Jays tied the game at 1-1 when Russell Wilson singled to left field. Justin Smoak scored on the play to even the score.
Then, in the bottom of the 8th inning, the Phillies took a 2-1 advantage. Nick Williams hit a long ball over the deep left center wall.
Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola had a no-hitter going until Martin singled with two outs in the seventh inning. Nola, who received a no-decision, struck out 10 and walked three, while allowing one hit over 6 2/3 innings.
Nola was the 24th pitcher, who had a no-hit bid this season, who went at least six innings. There were just 24 no-hit bids all of last season.
Seranthony Domínquez received the win after striking out one batter and allowing one hit over 1 1/3 innings. Luís García also struck out one and allowed one hit during an inning of work to receive the save.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Jaime García also received a no-decision. He struck out five and allowed a run on five hits over seven innings.
García was replaced by Joe Biagini, who received the loss. Biagini went 2/3 innings before Aaron Loup was called in for the final 1/3 of an inning.
Biagini received the loss after he allowed one hit, the game-winning home run by Williams.