rainn.png
Thursday February 2nd, 2023 7:28AM

Harper drives in 2 in return to lineup, Phils beat Pirates

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PHILADELPHIA (AP) —

Bryce Harper hit a two-run single in his first at-bat after a 52-game absence due to a broken left thumb, helping the streaking Philadelphia Phillies to a 7-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Harper grounded out twice and lined out sharply in his three other at-bats in his first action since being hit on the hand by San Diego Padres left-hander Blake Snell on June 25. The reigning NL MVP batted cleanup as the designated hitter and helped the Phillies win their fifth straight game.

“I’m just happy to be back, get in there and help this team win,” Harper said.

Philadelphia, which went 32-20 without Harper, began play in second place in the NL wild-card race.

“I’m just trying to come in here and not screw it up; they’re playing so well,” Harper said. “It’s been fun to be able to watch and even more fun to go out there and be around them.”

Rhys Hoskins singled, doubled and drove in a run for the Phillies.

Bryan Reynolds, Ben Gamel and Rodolfo Castro homered for the Pirates, who have lost six straight and 12 of 14. Pittsburgh dropped to 47-78.

Harper jogged out for warmups to loud cheers and “Let’s Go Harper!” chants 25 minutes before first pitch. The ovation from the announced crowd of 30,546 was deafening when Harper was introduced 20 minutes later. The cheers grew even louder, accompanied by a standing ovation and “M-V-P!” chants, when he stepped to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded in the first.

“I started laughing because it’s awesome,” Harper said of the reception. “I love those types of moments, I love those opportunities, I love jam-packed crowds and being able to play in front of 40,000 people. That’s what it’s all about.”

With a 2-2 count against Bryse Wilson (2-8), Harper lined a hard two-run single into right field.

“My teammates set me up for a perfect opportunity right there, and I was able to come through,” he said.

Harper went 5 for 8 with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs in a pair of rehab starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Phillies had planned to keep Harper in Triple-A through Saturday, but his return to the big leagues was moved up after his walk-off double for the IronPigs on Wednesday night.

“I just want to get back, I just want to play, I just want to help,” he said. “We have a team with an opportunity to go to the playoffs and go deep in the playoffs.”

The fans weren’t the only ones happy to see Harper back in Philadelphia. His wife, Kayla, posted a photo on social media of her seated at Citizens Bank Park wearing a shirt with multiple images of Harper on it. She captioned the post, “wearing my heart on my sleeve.”

Pirates manager Derek Shelton said Harper’s presence makes a good team even better.

“We’re talking about one of the best players in the game,” Shelton said. “Anytime you add a player of that caliber back to their lineup, it lengthens it out. He’s such a special hitter. He does a lot of different things. And when you put him there in the middle, it makes a really good lineup even better.”

Phillies starter Bailey Falter (2-3), filling in for injured right-hander Zack Wheeler, gave up three runs on five hits in six innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Brad Hand pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.

Harper’s two-run single was part of Philadelphia’s four-run first that was helped by second baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes’ throwing error on Kyle Schwarber’s grounder to lead off the game. After Harper’s hit, J.T. Realmuto’s grounder and Nick Castellanos’ single scored two more runs.

Wilson didn’t return after the first after allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits.

Philadelphia went up 6-0 in the second on Hoskins’ RBI single, and he later scored in the frame when shortstop Newman mishandled Realmuto’s grounder.

“We didn’t play great defensively and put ourselves in a hole,” Shelton said. “Against a club like this, we cannot give away extra outs.”

Newman’s two-run homer in the fourth and solo shots by Castro in the fifth and Gamel in the seventh, both leading off the innings, pulled Pittsburgh within 6-4 before Bryson Stott’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.

“I give our guys credit to continue to go,” Shelton said.

FANS IN THE STANDS

With Harper back, the Phillies drew about 10,000 more fans than they averaged in their four-game home sweep of the Reds this week. They averaged 21,227 during that series.

BAT IN THE STANDS

Oneil Cruz’s bat slipped out of his hands and went flying into the stands after the Pittsburgh Pirates’ rookie struck out in the third inning. The lumber landed in Jen Mehall’s lap behind the Phillies dugout. Mehall, a Pirates fan, was thrilled to get the souvenir — especially after it dinged her in the leg and lip. An inning later, though, a Pirates official came to request the bat back and offered another one in a trade.

Mehall and her friend, Kathie Koller, who were in town from Reading to celebrate Koller’s birthday, didn’t want to give up their rare keepsake.

“We wanted to keep it, but security said we couldn’t,” said Mehall, who is originally from Western Pennsylvania.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: Rookie RHP Colin Holderman was placed on the 15-day IL with right shoulder soreness after giving up five runs on three hits without getting an out in his last start on Wednesday. RHP Yohan Ramirez was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to take Holderman’s place.

Phillies: CF Brandon Marsh (sprained right ankle) had three hits and drove in three runs in his second rehab start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday night. Marsh, who was injured on Aug. 16, could return to Philadelphia’s lineup on Saturday. ... Wheeler is expected to miss two starts with right forearm tendinitis.

UP NEXT

Pirates RHP Tyler Beede (1-3, 4.13) opposes Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30) on Saturday night in the second contest of the three-game set.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Panthers' Darnold carted off field with sprained ankle
Panthers backup quarterback Sam Darnold and kicker Zane Gonzalez were both carted off the field in the third quarter of Carolina’s preseason game Friday night against the Buffalo Bills
11:40PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Bills' investigation of Araiza didn't include alleged victim
The attorney for a California teenager who has accused a Buffalo Bills rookie and two of his former college teammates of gang rape says the NFL team has not contacted him despite saying it had conducted a “thorough investigation.”
11:28PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Bat crazy! Fans reluctantly give up souvenir at Phils game
Things got sticky when a fan at a Philadelphia Phillies game caught Oneil Cruz’s bat and didn't want to give it back
11:22PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Panthers' Darnold, Gonzalez carted off with injuries
Panthers backup quarterback Sam Darnold and kicker Zane Gonzalez were both carted off the field in the third quarter of Carolina’s preseason game Friday night against the Buffalo Bills
10:03PM ( 2 hours ago )
Narin An takes 2-shot lead in Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
Narin An shot a 6-under 65 on Friday to top the leaderboard Friday in the suspended second round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
9:33PM ( 2 hours ago )
Schauffele's burst cuts into Scheffler lead at East Lake
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is still playing great golf and could easily have made the Tour Championship a runaway
7:12PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Sports
Cardinals' Goldschmidt has 2 HR, 5 RBIs in 8-3 win over Cubs
Paul Goldschmidt slugged his 32nd and 33rd homers and had five RBIs, Corey Dickerson set a franchise record for consecutive hits and the St. Louis Cardinals rolled to an 8-3 win over the Chicago Cubs
6:42PM ( 1 day ago )
Little League participation on the rise post-COVID-19
Little League International says participation in its baseball and softball leagues was up this season, and team managers are optimistic about another bump next year coming off the first full-scale Little League World Series since the pandemic
5:30PM ( 1 day ago )
Phils star Harper back Friday, 2 months after broken thumb
Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper is set to start for the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night, just two months after having his left thumb broken by a pitch
5:05PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Baseball
Judge 48th HR, Yanks beat Mets 4-2 to sweep Subway Series
Aaron Judge hit a 453-foot drive halfway up the bleachers for his 48th home run and added an RBI single during a seventh-inning rally, boosting the Yankees past the Mets 4-2 for a two-game sweep in a Subway Series both teams hope was a World Series prelude
1:39AM ( 2 days ago )
Verlander 6 no-hit innings, 16th W; Astros top Correa, Twins
Justin Verlander was pulled after pitching six no-hit innings in his major league-leading 16th win and the Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 in Carlos Correa’s return to Houston
1:36AM ( 2 days ago )
Parents of Astros' Alvarez come from Cuba to see 1st game
Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez had three extra special guests at Minute Maid on Park on Tuesday night
1:32AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Panthers' Darnold carted off field with sprained ankle
Panthers backup quarterback Sam Darnold and kicker Zane Gonzalez were both carted off the field in the third quarter of Carolina’s preseason game Friday night against the Buffalo Bills
11:40PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Bills' investigation of Araiza didn't include alleged victim
The attorney for a California teenager who has accused a Buffalo Bills rookie and two of his former college teammates of gang rape says the NFL team has not contacted him despite saying it had conducted a “thorough investigation.”
11:28PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Bat crazy! Fans reluctantly give up souvenir at Phils game
Things got sticky when a fan at a Philadelphia Phillies game caught Oneil Cruz’s bat and didn't want to give it back
11:22PM ( 56 minutes ago )
FBI: Trump mixed top secret docs with magazines, other items
Fourteen of the 15 boxes recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate early this year contained classified documents, many of them top secret, mixed in with miscellaneous newspapers, magazines and personal correspondence
11:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Russia blocks final document at nuclear treaty conference
Russia has blocked agreement on the final document of a four-week review of the U.N. treaty considered the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament which criticized its takeover of Europe’s largest nuclear plant soon after Russian troops invaded Ukraine
11:09PM ( 1 hour ago )