Aaron Nola pitched seven strong innings to make a three-run first stand up as the visiting Philadelphia Phillies edged the Boston Red Sox 3-2 Tuesday in the opener of a two-game series.
Nola (12-3) stranded the tying run in scoring position with no outs in both the fifth and sixth innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. The victory snapped a two-game skid for Philadelphia.
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run home run for the Red Sox, whose five-game winning streak came to an end. Boston lost a chance to pick up ground in the wild card chase as Tampa Bay lost to Seattle, 7-4.
After Nola whiffed a pair in the seventh to complete his outing, Jose Alvarez and Mike Morin combined to work a scoreless eighth. Hector Neris gave up a leadoff double to Xander Bogaerts in the ninth, but Bogaerts decided to take off for third on J.D. Martinez' grounder to shortstop and was tagged out. Neris then got Andrew Benintendi to line into a double play to earn his 22nd save.
The Phillies got all the offense they needed in the first inning, when a Bryce Harper double with one out put two men in scoring position. Jean Segura doubled them home before scoring on a Scott Kingery single for a 3-0 lead.
Boston got on the board in the third when Mitch Moreland hit a leadoff single and trotted home after Bradley crushed the first pitch he saw into the Red Sox' bullpen in right field with one out to make it 3-2.
While Philadelphia's bats continued to stall, Boston posed multiple threats without breaking through. Christian Vazquez led off the fifth with a double and was stranded at third, and Mookie Betts singled and stole second to kick off the sixth but advanced no further.
Brian Johnson got the start for Boston in place of Chris Sale, who is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with left elbow inflammation. Johnson (1-2) gave up three runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox' bullpen retired 15 straight Phillies from the fourth until a two-out walk in the ninth.