Phillies starter Zach Eflin watched along on the clubhouse TV as Alec Bohm stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning. His team was trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by one run with two outs, runners on second and third, and the game on the line.

Since the eighth inning, Eflin had been using his ears to get a sense of what was about to transpire. The broadcast was about 15-20 seconds behind the actual game, but if he heard cheering, he knew that something was about to happen. He just didn’t know what.

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Bohm fouled off an 0-2 pitch, then ran the count to 2-2. On the sixth pitch, he hit a ball softly to Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy. It seemed like a routine play, but then, Eflin heard the cheers. Muncy fumbled the ball. Garrett Stubbs raced home from third base. Roman Quinn — who is one of the fastest baserunners in baseball and perhaps the only person who could have scored in this scenario — rounded third and chugged home. Muncy’s throw home was just a little late. Quinn was safe, and the Phillies won, 4-3, on a walkoff error.

“You just kind of black out in that moment,” Quinn said of the moment he slid home. “I don’t know what happened, I was just so excited that we were able to get that W. It was really big.”

It was an imperfect ending to an imperfect homestand. Eflin had a career-high 12 strikeouts in seven innings and held the Dodgers to four hits. Unfortunately, two of those hits were solo homers by Mookie Betts in the third inning and Edwin Rios in the fourth. The Phillies’ bats remained quiet until the sixth inning, when eight-hole hitter Stubbs hit his first career home run to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1.

The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but Rhys Hoskins’s hard grounder to third was turned into an inning-ending double play. After sliding into first, Hoskins knelt on the bag for a few seconds, and slammed his helmet onto the dirt in frustration. When he reached the dugout, he picked up a trash can and slammed it against a bench.

Jean Segura sent the game into the extra innings by hitting an RBI single that capped a two-out rally started with Nick Castellanos’s double and an intentional walk to Kyle Schwarber. In the top of the 10th, Trea Turner’s RBI single gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. But Corey Knebel escaped further damage with the bases loaded and two out by striking out Muncy and retired Justin Turner on a ground out.

J.T. Realmuto made a costly baserunning error in the bottom of the 10th after reaching third on an infield single by Stubbs. Realmuto, fooled by third baseman Turner into thinking the ball was thrown over his head, was tagged out. After Johan Camargo struck out, Quinn — who entered the game batting .111 for this homestand — reached second after singling Stubbs to third base. That brought Bohm to the plate, and soon after that, the sound of cheers to Eflin’s ears.

This was not the homestand the Phillies had hoped for. After their offense clobbered opposing pitching in Seattle and Los Angeles, they went 2-4 at home, and scored only 12 runs through six games. But regardless, their win on Sunday did show grit, which is something the Phillies have lacked in previous years.

“I could go down the list,” Eflin said. “Bohm had a great defensive play late in the game. Casty had a double. Segura getting that run in. … It really was the definition of a team win. I think we’re all pretty pumped in here, and excited to get on the road and take care of business.”

Eflin with a stellar outing against a tough lineup

Despite the two solo home runs, this very well could have been one of the best outings of Eflin’s career. His 12 strikeouts were the most any pitcher had thrown against the Dodgers since Justin Verlander struck out 13 in August of 2018. Eflin is one of just two pitchers this season who have pitched seven innings, struck out 12 and allowed two runs or fewer this season (the other, by the way, is Clayton Kershaw).

One notable difference in his outing on Sunday, compared to his previous outings, was in his curveball usage. In his last start against the Padres, Eflin threw curveballs only 8% of the time. On Sunday, he upped that to 33%.

“He had a really good curveball,” Girardi said of Eflin. “That was the one thing I talked to him about last year, I said, ‘Man, you’ve got a good curveball, you have to use it.’ To me, it’s like [Jose] Alvarado. You have a good curveball, you need to use it. Use all of your weapons if you’ve got them.”

This upcoming road trip could not come at a better time

The Phillies start a four-game series in Atlanta on Monday, then will head to New York next weekend for a three-game set against the Mets. For whatever reason, they’re hitting much better on the road than they are at home. Their on-base percentage at home is .297, which ranks 25th in MLB. Through 24 games, they’re slashing .239/.297/.372 at home. On the road, they’re batting .261, the second best team batting average in baseball. They have an MLB-leading .465 slugging percentage and an MLB-leading .791 OPS on the road.

If they’re going to contend, they’re going to have to figure out how to hit at Citizens Bank Park. But with a 19-22 record, they are in desperate need of wins, which this upcoming road trip could provide.