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

Scott Lauber, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

Given the uncertainty of being able to squeeze nine innings between the bands of rain, it was imperative to grab an early lead. With two out in the first inning, Harper fell into an 0-2 count against Reds starter Graham Ashcraft before crushing a center-cut cutter to straightaway center field and wiping the rain from his helmet as he circled the bases.

The Reds took advantage of a throwing error by shortstop Trea Turner, his second miscue in five games, and scored an unearned run against Turnbull in the third inning.

But Harper broke the tie on the first pitch of the fourth inning, jumping on a slider from Ashcraft and hitting it on a line into the right-field bleachers.

When Harper came to the plate in the seventh, the Phillies held a 4-1 lead. Facing lefty Brent Suter, he got a full-count sinker almost on his shoetop and hit it out to right-center field.

Harper nearly had an even bigger night. In his third at-bat, with a runner on first and nobody out, he drove the ball to center field and was robbed of extra bases on a diving catch by the Reds’ Will Benson.

 

Turnbull, forced into the rotation late in spring training when Taijuan Walker was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement, was solid for five walk-free innings. He allowed three hits and struck out seven batters before passing the baton to Pinto.

Pinto came up with the Phillies, teaming with Ranger Suárez as teenagers in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2012 and making 25 appearances in the majors in 2017. He hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2019 with the Rays and signed a minor league deal with the Phillies on Feb. 19.

But with the bullpen shorthanded because of early-season overuse, Pinto inherited a 2-1 lead, threw 73 pitches, and kept the game close until Harper’s slam and Brandon Marsh’s solo shot in the eighth inning broke it open.


©2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Visit inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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