Giles Starts Strong as Phillies Closer

The trade of Jonathan Papelbon became official as the Phillies were playing the Blue Jays in Toronto. With Papelbon gone, the closer's role now falls to Ken Giles, who picked up the save in his new role with the club.

Late Tuesday afternoon, word of a trade sending Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals began to circulate. The trade was made official shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern time and less than two hours later, Papelbon's replacement was on the mound, looking to save a game for the Phillies.

Thus ushered in the Ken Giles era in Phillies baseball.

Giles came on to pitch the ninth in a 3-2 game against the Toronto Blue Jays and was greeted by Edwin Encarnacion, who promptly singled off of Giles to start the inning. From there though, the 24-year old right-hander settled in and got the next three hitters to record his first save of the season and the second of his career for the Phillies.

Papelbon, who wasn't happy being a part of the rebuilding Phillies team, agreed to waive his no-trade clause and even took a pay cut for next season to go to Washington. The Nationals, who would have been on the hook for $13-million next season had he finished 14 more games with them this year, agreed to take a guaranteed $8-million next season and a deferred payment of $3-million in 2017, in exchange for guaranteeing next season instead of needing to satisfy the vesting option. Papelbon was also told he would take over the closer's role from Drew Storen with the Nationals.

Giles sealed the win for Adam Morgan, who is now 2-2 on the season, and allowed two earned runs over six innings of work. Jeanmar Gomez and Luis Garcia each threw a shutout inning for the Phillies, who are now 9-1 since the All-Star Break.

With the Phillies down 2-0 in the top of the fifth, Cody Asche doubled to drive in two runs to tie the game off losing pitcher Felix Doubront. Andres Blanco was up next and he laced a double to drive in Asche and put the Phillies ahead to stay.


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