PHILADELPHIA – Nathan Karns homered and pitched five innings, ruining the major league debut of Philadelphia's Aaron Nola and leading the Tampa Bay Rays to a 1-0 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday.
Karns (5-5) allowed three hits, struck out four and walked two, marking the 14th game where the righthander has allowed two earned runs or less. Karns bounced back from his last outing on July 9 when he allowed career highs of seven runs and nine hits in an 8-3 loss at Kansas City to help the Rays win for just the third time in the last 13 games on the road.
Nola (0-1) was impressive, surrendering one run and five hits with six strikeouts and one walk in six innings, but the Phillies managed just four hits while ending their four-game winning streak.
The 22-year-old righthander was the seventh overall selection by the Phillies in the 2014 draft, making him the first Philadelphia player since Pat Combs in 1989 to appear in the big leagues a year after being drafted.
There was a rare buzz among the 28,703 fans at Citizens Bank Park that has been absent for most of this rebuilding season. Since announcing on Friday that Nola was being called up, the Phillies sold 8,500 tickets — including 4,000 on Tuesday alone.
And Nola didn't disappoint those in attendance.
Featuring a fastball that reached as high as 94 mph, along with an 84 mph changeup and curveball, Nola breezed through the first two innings.
Then, he grooved a fastball down the middle of the plate to Karns leading off the third, and the Rays pitcher drove it into the seats in left field for an unlikely homer.
The homer was the first hit by a Rays pitcher this season, snapping an 0-for-14 skid, and their first in the last 23 at-bats dating to last July 23 when Alex Cobb doubled.