Harper's 3-run blast sends Phillies to 9-4 win over Indians

CLEVELAND (AP) Bryce Harper crossed home and triumphantly raised his arms with a gesture usually reserved for Ohio State football celebrations.

This time, it also meant something for Philadelphia's baseball hopes.

Harper delivered with one those moments that have made him a superstar, connecting for a go-ahead three-run homer as the Phillies avoided sliding deeper in the NL wild-card standings with a 9-4 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.

Brad Miller homered twice and the Phillies stayed within five games of Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot.

But it was Harper's 33rd homer in the fifth inning off left-hander Oliver Perez (2-4) - a shot the Ohio State fan celebrated by flashing an ''O-H'' - that put the Phillies ahead and prevented them from fading further from the postseason picture.

''That's what I love,'' Harper said. ''You step in the box and try to have good at-bats. Sometimes you're going to do it. Sometimes you're not.''

Jay Bruce also homered in Philadelphia's four-run rally in the fifth and Jason Vargas (7-8) shook off a rough start to finally get his first win in his 10th outing for the Phillies.

Rookie Oscar Mercado hit a two-run homer for the Indians, who had their five-game winning streak stopped and fell one game behind Tampa Bay for the AL's No. 2 wild-card berth.

Harper's 413-foot shot was the type the Phillies envisioned when they signed the six-time All-Star to a 13-year, $330 million free agent contract in March.

After Indians rookie starter Zach Plesac gave up a pair of singles, manager Terry Francona didn't want to take any chances with Harper coming up and brought in Perez, who retired the superstar on a grounder in Cleveland's win on Friday and had struck him out four times in five career matchups.

But this time, Harper was locked in. He fouled off five pitches - two of them with two strikes - before pounding Perez's 79 mph slider deep into the right-field seats to put the Phillies up 5-4.

''I give him a ton of credit,'' Francona said. ''I mean it's a guy that he has historically had a really tough time against and he fouled off enough pitches and he's a good enough hitter where he got something that was spinning and caught the plate and he hurt us.

''That was a heck of an at-bat. It pains me to say that, but it was.''

When he circled the bases, Harper, who backs the Buckeyes football team because his wife played soccer at Ohio State, made a sign seen around the state on fall Saturdays. Earlier, Harper watched the Buckeyes on a clubhouse TV as they dismantled Miami (Ohio) 76-5.

''Big win for the Bucks today,'' said Harper, who wore an Ohio State cap afterward. ''Lot of fun, 76-5. I'll take it.''

Miller, who opened the season as Cleveland's starting second baseman, opened the ninth with a homer and Harper added a sacrifice fly in the inning as the Phillies blew it open with three runs.

Vargas settled in after his defense made two errors in the first and he fell behind 4-1 after two innings. The left-hander had been 0-3 with six no-decisions since coming over in a trade from the New York Mets on July 29.

CATCHING UP

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto got his 35th double to join Hall of Famer Johnny Bench (1970, 1974) and Jorge Posada (2000) as the only catchers with 35 doubles, 25 homers and 90 runs in the same season.

BACK HAND

Indians All-Star closer Brad Hand made his first appearance since Sept. 8 and struck out the side in the sixth. Hand had been sidelined by a fatigued arm, and the Indians wanted to use him in a non-save situation before he returns to late-inning duty.

''That was the bright spot,'' Francona said. ''We'll see how he bounces back. That was really good to see.''

TERRIFIC TERRY

Francona's 15 consecutive winning seasons is the majors' longest run since Hall of Famer Bobby Cox had 15 in a row from 1991-2005. Only Earl Weaver (16), Sparky Anderson (17) and Joe McCarthy (24) have had had lengthier streaks.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: SS Jean Segura (sore left ankle) returned after being a late scratch Friday. He was removed from Thursday's game in Atlanta after beating out an infield hit.

Indians: 3B Jose Ramirez looked good batting against right- and left-hander pitchers pregame, a significant step in his recovery from a broken right hand. Indians president Chris Antonetti said the team will see how Ramirez responds, adding ''everything is on the table'' when asked if the two-time All-Star could be activated as early as Sunday.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (7-7, 4.89 ERA) has won his past three decisions. He struck out eight in five innings in his last start.

Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (7-4, 4.34 ERA) starts the regular-season home finale and makes his first career appearance against the Phillies.

---

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123456789RHE
PHI79-74
0101400039102
CLE91-64
220000000451
  • W: J. Vargas (7-8)L: O. Perez (2-4)
  • HR: PHI - J. Bruce (26), B. Harper (33), B. Miller 2 (8), CLE - O. Mercado (13)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
C. Hernandez 2B51110002.284.337.406.7433.0
J. Realmuto C41200100.275.328.492.8195.0
B. Harper RF31141110.256.372.500.8729.5
R. Hoskins 1B50000023.233.371.473.844-1.0
J. Bruce DH41111012.220.265.531.7965.5
J. Segura SS41100000.283.327.429.7563.0
B. Miller LF42222011.233.313.481.79311.5
S. Kingery 3B41000011.255.312.474.7862.5
A. Haseley CF41210011.267.332.417.7494.5
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    F. Lindor SS32000110.291.345.530.8744.5
    O. Mercado CF41121021.281.330.450.7806.0
    C. Santana 1B31110110.284.400.524.9243.5
    Y. Puig RF40000032.265.324.456.779-1.5
    J. Luplow LF30100000.275.361.532.8941.0
    a- B. Zimmer PH10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
    F. Reyes DH40110010.243.307.501.8081.5
    K. Plawecki C30100012.219.282.342.6240.5
    b- J. Bauers PH10000000.227.311.376.6870.0
    Y. Chang 3B30000011.190.282.302.583-0.5
    R. Flaherty 2B30000010.071.071.071.143-0.5
    • a-struck out for Luplow in the 9th
    • b-flied out for Plawecki in the 9th
    BATTING
    • 2B - J. Realmuto (35), J. Segura (37), A. Haseley (13)
    • HR - B. Harper (33), J. Bruce (26), B. Miller 2 (8)
    • SF - B. Harper (3)
    • RBI - C. Hernandez (68), B. Harper 4 (108), J. Bruce (59), B. Miller 2 (17), A. Haseley (23)
    • 2-Out RBI - J. Bruce (16), B. Miller (9), A. Haseley (6)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Hernandez (63), R. Hoskins (67), J. Bruce (36)
    BATTING
    • HR - O. Mercado (13)
    • RBI - O. Mercado 2 (48), C. Santana (93), F. Reyes (77)
    • 2-Out RBI - O. Mercado 2 (20), F. Reyes (36)
    • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - Y. Puig, K. Plawecki (10)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - S. Kingery (13)
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - F. Lindor (22)
    FIELDING
    • DP - (Kingery-Hernandez-Hoskins)
    • E - J. Realmuto (9), J. Segura (19)
    FIELDING
    • E - F. Lindor (10)
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Vargas (W, 7-8)6.25422814.401.3323.0
    J. Hughes (H, 7)1.00000104.161.213.5
    J. Alvarez (H, 16)0.10000103.321.390.5
    E. Garcia1.00000206.031.634.0
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Vargas (W, 7-8)6.2
    J. Hughes (H, 7)1.0
    J. Alvarez (H, 16)0.1
    E. Garcia1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    Z. Plesac4.15442313.821.222.5
    O. Perez (L, 2-4)0.01110013.631.21-7.0
    J. Hoyt0.21110111.420.63-1.5
    B. Hand1.00000303.301.244.5
    H. Wood1.00000002.681.243.0
    N. Wittgren1.11210012.881.071.0
    J. Karinchak0.22110003.001.00-3.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Vargas 100-62, J. Hughes 11-7, J. Alvarez 6-5, E. Garcia 16-8
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Vargas 8-4
    • Batters Faced - J. Vargas 27, J. Hughes 3, J. Alvarez, E. Garcia 3
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Plesac 90-56, O. Perez 9-6, J. Hoyt 13-6, B. Hand 13-10, H. Wood 14-6, N. Wittgren 24-17, J. Karinchak 18-14
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Plesac 2-8, J. Hoyt 1-0, N. Wittgren 3-2, J. Karinchak 1-1
    • Batters Faced - Z. Plesac 20, O. Perez, J. Hoyt 3, B. Hand 3, H. Wood 3, N. Wittgren 6, J. Karinchak 4
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    PHI79-74
    0101400039102
    CLE91-64
    220000000451
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    C. Hernandez 2B51110002.284.337.406.7433.0
    J. Realmuto C41200100.275.328.492.8195.0
    B. Harper RF31141110.256.372.500.8729.5
    R. Hoskins 1B50000023.233.371.473.844-1.0
    J. Bruce DH41111012.220.265.531.7965.5
    J. Segura SS41100000.283.327.429.7563.0
    B. Miller LF42222011.233.313.481.79311.5
    S. Kingery 3B41000011.255.312.474.7862.5
    A. Haseley CF41210011.267.332.417.7494.5
    Total37910942710-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      F. Lindor SS32000110.291.345.530.8744.5
      O. Mercado CF41121021.281.330.450.7806.0
      C. Santana 1B31110110.284.400.524.9243.5
      Y. Puig RF40000032.265.324.456.779-1.5
      J. Luplow LF30100000.275.361.532.8941.0
      a- B. Zimmer PH10000010.000.000.000.000-0.5
      F. Reyes DH40110010.243.307.501.8081.5
      K. Plawecki C30100012.219.282.342.6240.5
      b- J. Bauers PH10000000.227.311.376.6870.0
      Y. Chang 3B30000011.190.282.302.583-0.5
      R. Flaherty 2B30000010.071.071.071.143-0.5
      Total3245412126-----
      • a-struck out for Luplow in the 9th
      • b-flied out for Plawecki in the 9th
      BATTING
      • 2B - J. Realmuto (35), J. Segura (37), A. Haseley (13)
      • HR - B. Harper (33), J. Bruce (26), B. Miller 2 (8)
      • SF - B. Harper (3)
      • RBI - C. Hernandez (68), B. Harper 4 (108), J. Bruce (59), B. Miller 2 (17), A. Haseley (23)
      • 2-Out RBI - J. Bruce (16), B. Miller (9), A. Haseley (6)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - C. Hernandez (63), R. Hoskins (67), J. Bruce (36)
      BATTING
      • HR - O. Mercado (13)
      • RBI - O. Mercado 2 (48), C. Santana (93), F. Reyes (77)
      • 2-Out RBI - O. Mercado 2 (20), F. Reyes (36)
      • Runners left in scoring position, 2-Out - Y. Puig, K. Plawecki (10)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - S. Kingery (13)
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - F. Lindor (22)
      FIELDING
      • DP - (Kingery-Hernandez-Hoskins)
      • E - J. Realmuto (9), J. Segura (19)
      FIELDING
      • E - F. Lindor (10)
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Vargas (W, 7-8)6.25422814.401.3323.0
      J. Hughes (H, 7)1.00000104.161.213.5
      J. Alvarez (H, 16)0.10000103.321.390.5
      E. Garcia1.00000206.031.634.0
      Total9.05422121---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Vargas (W, 7-8)6.2
      J. Hughes (H, 7)1.0
      J. Alvarez (H, 16)0.1
      E. Garcia1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      Z. Plesac4.15442313.821.222.5
      O. Perez (L, 2-4)0.01110013.631.21-7.0
      J. Hoyt0.21110111.420.63-1.5
      B. Hand1.00000303.301.244.5
      H. Wood1.00000002.681.243.0
      N. Wittgren1.11210012.881.071.0
      J. Karinchak0.22110003.001.00-3.0
      Total9.01098274---
      PITCHERSIP
      Z. Plesac4.1
      O. Perez (L, 2-4)0.0
      J. Hoyt0.2
      B. Hand1.0
      H. Wood1.0
      N. Wittgren1.1
      J. Karinchak0.2
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Vargas 100-62, J. Hughes 11-7, J. Alvarez 6-5, E. Garcia 16-8
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Vargas 8-4
      • Batters Faced - J. Vargas 27, J. Hughes 3, J. Alvarez, E. Garcia 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - Z. Plesac 90-56, O. Perez 9-6, J. Hoyt 13-6, B. Hand 13-10, H. Wood 14-6, N. Wittgren 24-17, J. Karinchak 18-14
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Z. Plesac 2-8, J. Hoyt 1-0, N. Wittgren 3-2, J. Karinchak 1-1
      • Batters Faced - Z. Plesac 20, O. Perez, J. Hoyt 3, B. Hand 3, H. Wood 3, N. Wittgren 6, J. Karinchak 4
      • 9TH INNING
        Harper hit sacrifice fly to center, Hernandez scored, Realmuto to third94
        Hernandez singled to right center, Kingery scored84
        Miller homered to right74
      • 5TH INNING
        Bruce homered to left64
        Harper homered to right center, Haseley and Realmuto scored54
      • 4TH INNING
        Miller homered to left center24
      • 2ND INNING
        Mercado homered to right center, Lindor scored14
        Haseley doubled to left center, Segura scored12
      • 1ST INNING
        Reyes singled to center, Santana scored, Luplow to third02
        Santana singled to left, Lindor scored01
      • 9TH INNING
        • N. Wittgren Pitching:
        • B. Miller: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Foul, Miller homered to right
        • S. Kingery: Strike looking, Foul, Kingery safe at first on shortstop Lindor throwing error
        • A. Haseley: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Haseley flied out to center
        • James Karinchak relieved Nick Wittgren
        • C. Hernandez: Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Kingery stole second, Foul, Hernandez singled to right center, Kingery scored
        • J. Realmuto: Strike (foul tip), Strike looking, Realmuto doubled to left center, Hernandez to third
        • B. Harper: Foul, Foul, Ball, Harper hit sacrifice fly to center, Hernandez scored, Realmuto to third
        • R. Hoskins: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Hoskins grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 9th (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
        • Edgar Garcia relieved Jose Alvarez
        • Bradley Zimmer hit for Jordan Luplow
        • B. Zimmer: Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Zimmer struck out swinging
        • F. Reyes: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Reyes struck out swinging
        • Jake Bauers hit for Kevin Plawecki
        • J. Bauers: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Bauers flied out to deep center
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Nick Wittgren relieved Hunter Wood
        • R. Hoskins: Ball, Ball, Hoskins grounded out to second
        • J. Bruce: Bruce grounded out to second
        • J. Segura: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Segura flied out to deep center
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Hughes Pitching:
        • O. Mercado: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Mercado struck out swinging
        • C. Santana: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Santana popped out to first
        • Jose Alvarez relieved Jared Hughes
        • Y. Puig: Foul, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Puig struck out swinging
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Hunter Wood relieved Brad Hand
        • C. Hernandez: Foul, Ball, Ball, Hernandez flied out to deep right
        • J. Realmuto: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Realmuto flied out to center
        • B. Harper: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Harper flied out to left
        • Middle of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • Y. Chang: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Chang struck out swinging
        • R. Flaherty: Foul, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Flaherty grounded out to second
        • Jared Hughes relieved Jason Vargas
        • F. Lindor: Lindor lined out to first
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • Brad Hand relieved James Hoyt
        • B. Miller: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Miller struck out swinging
        • S. Kingery: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Kingery struck out swinging
        • A. Haseley: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Haseley struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • J. Luplow: Ball, Luplow grounded out to shortstop
        • F. Reyes: Strike looking, Reyes grounded out to shortstop
        • K. Plawecki: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Plawecki struck out looking
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • Z. Plesac Pitching:
        • A. Haseley: Ball, Ball, Haseley singled to left
        • C. Hernandez: Strike looking, Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Hernandez lined out to center
        • J. Realmuto: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Realmuto singled to center, Haseley to third
        • Oliver Perez relieved Zach Plesac
        • B. Harper: Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Harper homered to right center, Haseley and Realmuto scored
        • James Hoyt relieved Oliver Perez
        • R. Hoskins: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Hoskins struck out swinging
        • J. Bruce: Ball, Ball, Bruce homered to left
        • J. Segura: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Segura grounded out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 5th (4 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Lindor struck out looking
        • O. Mercado: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Mercado grounded out to third
        • C. Santana: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Santana walked
        • Y. Puig: Ball, Ball, Puig flied out to center
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • Z. Plesac Pitching:
        • J. Bruce: Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Bruce flied out to deep center
        • J. Segura: Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Segura grounded out to second
        • B. Miller: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Miller homered to left center
        • S. Kingery: Kingery lined out to left
        • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • K. Plawecki: Ball, Ball, Plawecki reached on an infield single to third
        • Y. Chang: Ball, Chang grounded into double play third to second to first, Plawecki out at second
        • R. Flaherty: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Flaherty struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • Z. Plesac Pitching:
        • J. Realmuto: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Realmuto fouled out to catcher
        • B. Harper: Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Harper struck out swinging
        • R. Hoskins: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul tip, Hoskins struck out on foul tip
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • Y. Puig: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Puig struck out looking
        • J. Luplow: Ball, Foul, Luplow fouled out to right
        • F. Reyes: Ball, Ball, Strike (foul tip), Reyes grounded out to third
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • Z. Plesac Pitching:
        • J. Segura: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Segura doubled to deep left
        • B. Miller: Ball, Strike swinging, Miller flied out to center
        • S. Kingery: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike looking, Kingery fouled out to first
        • A. Haseley: Haseley doubled to left center, Segura scored
        • C. Hernandez: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Hernandez lined out to center
        • Middle of the 2nd (1 Run, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • Y. Chang: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Chang flied out to deep center
        • R. Flaherty: Flaherty grounded out to first
        • F. Lindor: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Lindor walked
        • O. Mercado: Ball, Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Mercado homered to right center, Lindor scored
        • C. Santana: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Santana struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (2 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • Z. Plesac Pitching:
        • C. Hernandez: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Hernandez grounded out to second
        • J. Realmuto: Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Realmuto walked
        • B. Harper: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Harper walked, Realmuto to second
        • R. Hoskins: Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Hoskins flied out to deep center, Realmuto to third
        • J. Bruce: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Bruce struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • F. Lindor: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Lindor safe at first on shortstop Segura throwing error
        • O. Mercado: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Mercado struck out swinging, Lindor stole second, Lindor to third on catcher Realmuto throwing error
        • C. Santana: Ball, Santana singled to left, Lindor scored
        • Y. Puig: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Puig struck out looking
        • J. Luplow: Strike looking, Foul, Luplow singled to right, Santana to second
        • F. Reyes: Ball, Foul, Reyes singled to center, Santana scored, Luplow to third
        • K. Plawecki: Plawecki lined out to left
        • End of the 1st (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 2 Errors)