Bryce Harper homers twice, Phillies split two-game series in Toronto
Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped a three game skid last night in Toronto, beating the Blue Jays 9-4.
Ahead of last night’s game, I said multiple times that Aaron Nola desperately needed a strong outing against a very good Blue Jays team on the road to take a step in the right direction in restoring what has been a miserable 2023 campaign.
That didn’t happen.
Nola lasted just five innings, surrounding four earned runs on four hits, including a home run. He walked four and struck out seven.
After Jake Cave put the Phillies up 1-0 in the top of the second inning, Nola surrounded a two-run home run to Daulton Varsho in the bottom half of the inning.
Luckily for Nola, Bryce Harper, who I’m officially declaring as “back” tied the game in the top of the third with a solo shot to deep centerfield on Kevin Gausman, the Blue Jays Cy Young candidate that has terrorized the Phillies any time he steps foot on the mound.
Bryce Harper HR 1
The Blue Jays responded immediately in the bottom half of the fourth with Cavan Biggio knocking home Brandon Belt and George Springer with a two-run single to take a 4-2 lead.
Nick Castellanos, who had two doubles on the night, got a run back in the fifth to pull the Phillies back within one run and a throwing error by Jays’ third baseman Santiago Espinal allowed Harper and Castellanos to score to give the Phillies a 5-4 lead heading into in the sixth.
The Phillies would pile on in the top of the sixth inning thanks to a Kyle Schwarber sac fly and a single by Alec Bohm to extend their lead to 7-4.
Jake Cave hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning and Bryce Harper struck again in the ninth with another solo shot to right centerfield.
Bryce Harper HR 2
On the mound, Matt Strahm pitched two solid innings in relief of Nola before handing the game over to Craig Kimbrel and Gregory Soto for the eighth and ninth innings to secure the two-game split in Toronto.
With the win, the Phillies improved to 66-55 on the season and 6-4 over their last 10 games.
As I always say right here on The Liberty Line, the Hunt for Red October is through the NL Wild Card and the Phillies increased their lead in the top spot last night after the Giants lost and fell to 3-7 over their last 10 games.
The Hunt for Red October
The Phillies will have a day off today before heading to Washington for a three-game series agains the Nationals this weekend. Two games will be played in DC as usual and the third will be played at the at Historic Bowman Field in Williamsport, PA as the MLB’s 2023 Little League Classic game.
Phillies Upcoming August Homestand
- Aug 21st-23rd: San Francisco Giants
- Aug 25th-27th: St. Louis Cardinals
- Aug 28th-30th: Los Angeles Angels