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Harper hits 2 solo home runs, Nola pitches 5 innings as Phillies beat Blue Jays 9-4

TORONTO (AP) — Bryce Harper hit two solo home runs, Aaron Nola pitched five innings and snapped a four-start winless streak and the Philadelphia Phillies won for the first time in four games, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 on Wednesday night.

Jake Cave added a solo homer and Nick Castellanos had two hits and an RBI as the Phillies avoided a sweep in the two-game series north of the border.

Philadelphia had scored only two runs in losing its previous three games, but broke out of that slump with an 11-hit effort against the Blue Jays.

Harper went 3 for 4 with a walk in his 25th career multi-homer game and first this season. He tied the score at 2 by connecting off Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman in the third inning, then made it 9-4 with a leadoff blast off righty Bowden Francis in the ninth. The homers were Harper’s eighth and ninth of the season.

Nola (10-8) allowed four runs and four hits, including a two-run home run by Daulton Varsho. Nola struck out seven and walked four, the same number of walks he had over five starts in July.

Left-hander Matt Strahm worked two innings, Craig Kimbrel struck out a pair in the eighth and Gregory Soto finished.

Gausman (9-7) allowed seven runs, five earned, and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four, boosting his AL-leading total to 187.

Castellanos doubled and scored on Cave’s sacrifice fly in the second, but Varsho answered in the bottom half with his 15th home run.

Cavan Biggio restored Toronto’s lead with a two-run single in the bottom of the third, but Gausman couldn’t make it stand up. Castellanos hit an RBI double in the fifth and two runs scored on third baseman Santiago Espinal’s two-out throwing error.

Kyle Schwarber hit a sacrifice fly off left-hander Tim Mayza in the sixth, and Alec Bohm followed with an RBI single.

Cave made it 8-4 with a leadoff homer off right-hander Jay Jackson in the eighth, his third.

Trainer’s Room

Phillies: Harper started at 1B for the first time since leaving in the fifth inning of an Aug. 10 win over Washington because of back spasms. Harper had started at DH in his previous three games. … OF Cristian Pache (right elbow) went 1 for 4 as the DH in a rehab appearance for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night.

Blue Jays: Gold Glove 3B Matt Chapman missed his third straight game because of a sore right middle finger. … SS Bo Bichette (right knee) started at DH and went 2 for 3 in a rehab appearance at Triple-A Buffalo Wednesday, scoring from first base on a double. Bichette will play SS for the Bisons on Thursday and could rejoin the Blue Jays in Cincinnati on Friday. … RHP Trevor Richards (neck) struck out one and walked one in a scoreless inning at Buffalo, while RHP Chad Green (concussion protocol/elbow surgery) allowed one run and two hits in 1 1/3 innings, striking out three.

Up Next

Phillies: RHP Michael Lorenzen (7-7, 3.23 ERA) is expected to start Friday as Philadelphia opens a three-game series at Washington. The Nationals had not named a starter.

Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos (9-8, 3.53 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday as Toronto begins a three-game series at Cincinnati. The Reds had not named a starter.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

https://www.mcall.com/2023/08/16/harper-hits-2-solo-home-runs-nola-pitches-5-innings-as-phillies-beat-blue-jays-9-4/ Harper hits 2 solo home runs, Nola pitches 5 innings as Phillies beat Blue Jays 9-4

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