Phillies’ explosive offense sets them up for potentially shocking sweep


There’s no more locked-in baseball hitter right now than Bryce Harper, who continues to propel the Phillies to win in the West.

Harper doubled in the first inning and smashed a three-run homer in the third inning Saturday night against Dodgers left-hander Julio Urias, a 20-game winner last season who entered with a 2.10 ERA.

The Phillies won the game, 8-3, to claim their third straight victory at Dodger Stadium. They are 5-1 on their seven-game road trip after going 1-4 in last week’s home game. It’s their first series win at Dodger Stadium since 2014 and they’re six points off the record for a visiting team in a four-game series at Chavez Ravine.

“We’re on fire. To do this at Dodger Stadium, I’m surprised, I’m shocked,” the scorching Jean Segura told the Phillies broadcast team in a postgame interview. “Guys are really swinging bats.”

Harper over his last nine games is 17 for 36 (.472) with five homers, seven doubles, 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored. His 24 extra hits are five more than anyone in the majors this season. His seven extra hits from the past three nights are most ever by a visiting player in a three-game streak at Dodger Stadium. Harper even made his way on board in his last at bat. The play was ruled an error on Dodgers reliever Reyes Moronta, but could easily have been scored a hit and could be changed to one upon further review.

No time is ideal to seat Harper, but he will receive a PRP injection on his injured right elbow on Sunday and that will keep him out of the lineup on Sunday and likely Tuesday. The Phils are off Monday before hosting the Padres for three.

Segura started the scoring with a three-run homer in the first inning, taking advantage of Justin Turner’s two-out error. In the fourth, Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins went deep as Urias allowed the worst four homers of his career.

The Phillies’ offense went wild in Los Angeles, an unexpected development given the Dodgers team’s 2.26 ERA entering the series. The Dodgers had allowed more than five runs once all season before facing the Phillies, who scored 9, 12 and 8 on 29 runs on 37 hits in the first three games. It’s hard to imagine the roster feeling any more confident than they are right now.

Ranger Suarez (4-1, 3.72 ERA) had an impressive outing, lasting seven innings. He allowed a first homer to Mookie Betts and allowed a deuce at fourth, but wriggled out of a jam with second-and-third and one out, putting out Hanser Alberto, Austin Barnes and all the Dodgers the rest of the way. Suarez ended his night scoring 11 in a row.

Getting length from Suarez was important Saturday night because the Phillies’ bullpen, especially the fullback, was taxed. Getting seven strong points from Suarez, manager Joe Girardi was only able to use Seranthony Dominguez in the eighth and Connor Brogdon in the ninth.

The win makes the Phillies 17-17. They’re at .500 for the first time since going 10-10 and haven’t been over since going 3-2. They’ll be looking to make a serious statement Sunday afternoon at 4:10 p.m. when they hope to complete a four-game sweep behind Aaron Nola. The Dodgers hadn’t named a starter as of Saturday’s game.

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