Harper’s HR propels Phillies past Padres in World Series
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryce Harper hit his fifth playoff homer, an eighth-inning two-run outburst that turned Citizens Bank Park into a madhouse, and the $330 million slugger powered the Philadelphia Phillies past the San Diego Padres
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryce Harper hit his fifth playoff homer, an eighth-inning two-run outburst that turned Citizens Bank Park into a madhouse, and the $330 million slugger powered the Philadelphia Phillies ahead of the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Sunday and in the World Series for the first time since 2009.
Rhys Hoskins also hit a two-run homer to spark Philadelphia’s unlikely run to the National League pennant and a shot at its first World Series championship since 2008.
Harper made the monumental feat of hitting baseball so easy in the playoffs and he easily delivered the biggest hit of his four-year career with the Phillies.
JT Realmuto started the inning with lone reliever Robert Suarez and Harper fielded an opposing field 2-2, 98 mph into the left field seats as another sold-out crowd of 45,485 fans rocked the stadium.
« I knew he was coming with his heater, » the two-time NL MVP said in a TV interview. « I just tried to take the best swing possible and was able to do some damage with it. »
Left-hander Harper connected with a right-hander — the Padres had closer left-hander Josh Hader warming up in the bullpen, but didn’t bring him in.
Phillies reliever David Robertson was called out after two walks in the ninth. Ranger Suárez made his first relief appearance of the season and retired Trent Grisham on a bunt and got Austin Nola – brother of Phils ace Aaron Nola – on a routine fly to end it for a cuddle save .
Philadelphia, get ready.
Harper, Hoskins & Crew come for a most unlikely World Series championship.
Houston held a 3-0 lead over the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Game 4 will take place Sunday night in New York. The Fall Classic kicks off Friday night at the AL champion’s home.
Harper, who turned 30 last week, is batting 439 (18 for 41) with six doubles, five home runs, 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored in 11 playoff games. He hit 10 straight times and reached base 11 straight times.
And the fearsome designated hitter can keep those streaks alive when he plays in his first World Series.
« To some degree he’s been overlooked because of who he is and the star he is, » Phillies manager Rob Thomson said before the game. « He’s a guy who is a big star delivered. I can’t say enough about that.
Philadelphia finished third in the NL East at 87-75, 14 games behind the Braves at 101 wins this season, and was the last Majors club to advance to the 12-team playoffs. After a 2-0 sweep of NL Central champion St. Louis in MLB’s new round of wildcards, the Phillies needed just four games to eliminate defending World Series champions Atlanta. .
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Dan Gelston, The Associated Press