BOSTON – Submissions are added up. Phyllis scored three runs in the first frame of Tuesday's win over the Red Sox, but after four innings on Wednesday, they still had to get back on board.
That is, until Bryce Harper steps into the plate in
BOSTON – Submissions are added up. Phyllis scored three runs in the first frame of Tuesday's win over the Red Sox, but after four innings Wednesday, they still had to get back on board.
That is until
Coming into the series finale on Wednesday, Harper never recorded a hit against Red Sox starter
That changed with one swing of the bat – a monster swinging twice. After seeing three straight fastballs with four stitches (and pushing two), Harper shook a slider 86.6 mph over Green Monster in left field at 101.3 mph, according to Statcast, during the fifth inning at 5 -2 on Phillies win.
• Boxing Score
The Phillies improved to 66-60 and have won six of their last eight games. They remain 1 1/2 games for the second place Wild Card Wild Card.
"He's the guy on the team," started Phyllis
Including his first game on Wednesday, Harper hit three of his eight bats against Porcello. The Red Sox have a strategy to counter the hard-hitting Harper, and that didn't go as planned.
"Yes, it had to be from behind," Porcello said. "He took him out on the first bat and he swung him well. He was a little lower than we wanted to throw him. We were in good, favorable numbers and we had some opportunities we could waste a few terrains, see if he would chase, do some different things. We went on with it and he got it. It was a good swing. It just had to be a better pitch. "
The shot in the opposite field was Harper's 22nd home in the Interleague race and his third in 11 games against the Red Sox. On June 8, 2012, he was his only other home in Fenway Park as a national member. Harper was nearing the season opener in Boston, but Mookie Betts robbed him of a star-studded scourge in center.
There were fans in the crowd trying to distract Harper from the snap, which runs streak at Fenway Park home. Harper was greeted with buses during the two-part series in Boston and his ability to block out noise and go out in the yard for his 27th home season of the season stood out before Phyllis manager Gabe Kapler.
"I thought it was really interesting: There were some hackers," Kappler said. "I don't know if they were the Red Sox [fans] or who they were, but they've been up to it by this time. It was a pretty explosive moment for the dugout. "
The Phyllis are 59-33 when they hit at least one home run. When it comes to their home run leader, they're 19-6 when Harper kills one of the parks. And those games are quickly added. Harper has appeared in four of his last seven contests, with 12 RBI at the time.
"I'm really glad Bryce got big at this point," said Kapler.
Jessica The camera is a Boston based MLB .com reporter / editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicacamerato .