Bryce Harper smashes three home runs, powers Phillies past Reds, 9-4

Scott Lauber, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

PHILADELPHIA — It wasn’t a night fit for man or beast, to borrow a line from W.C. Fields.

Yet somehow it suited Bryce Harper.

Playing through steady rain, wearing a red ski mask as insulation from a whipping wind and stinging chill — and, oh yeah, 0 for 11 to begin the season — Harper hit solo homers in his first two at-bats Tuesday night, then banged a grand slam to power the Phillies’ 9-4 thumping of the Reds.

Hittin’ season? For Harper, sure.

It was too cold for a curtain call, even though many among the drenched 28,119 paying customers tried to coax Harper from the dugout with chants of “MVP! MVP!” But he did finish with six RBIs, a career high, in his second career three-homer game, nine years after the first (May 6, 2015, for the Nationals).

Harper became the 20th Phillies player to go deep three times in a game and the fifth in the last 25 years, joining Brad Miller (July 8, 2021), Jayson Werth (May 16, 2008), Ryan Howard (Sept. 3, 2006), and Mike Lieberthal (Aug. 10, 2002).


And while Harper provided the offense, the Phillies received nine solid innings from two unlikely pitching sources: fill-in No. 5 starter Spencer Turnbull and reliever Ricardo Pinto. The latter got called up earlier in the day and allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings in his first major league appearance since 2019.

If not for Harper, it might have gone down as the Ricardo Pinto Game.

With rain falling throughout the day and expected all night, officials from both teams met on the field at about 4:30 p.m. to make a determination. They agreed there would be a window to play the game.

And with more rain expected early Wednesday, the Phillies moved the start time of their series finale against the Reds to 4:05 p.m. It was initially scheduled for 1:05 p.m.


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