Phillies' explosive offense losing Harper at his hottest for a few days


There isn't a hitter in baseball more locked in right now than Bryce Harper, who keeps powering the Phillies to wins out west.

Harper doubled in the first inning and crushed a three-run home run in the third inning Saturday night off of 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 on last week's homestand. This is their first series win at Dodger Stadium since 2014 and they are six runs shy of the record for a visiting team in a four-game series at Chavez Ravine.

"We're on fire. Doing this at Dodger Stadium, I'm surprised, I'm shocked," red-hot Jean Segura told the Phillies' broadcast crew in a postgame interview. "The guys are really swinging the bats."

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

No time is ideal to have Harper sit but he will have a PRP injection on his injured right elbow Sunday and that will keep him out of the lineup 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 a career-worst four home runs.

The Phillies' offense has gone crazy in Los Angeles, an unexpected development given the Dodgers' 2.26 team ERA entering the series. The Dodgers had allowed more than five runs one time all season prior to facing the Phillies, who have scored 9, 12 and 8 for 29 runs on 37 hits in the first three games. It's hard to imagine the lineup feeling any more confident than it feels right now. 

Ranger Suarez (4-1, 3.72 ERA) turned in an impressive outing, lasting seven innings. He allowed a leadoff homer to Mookie Betts and gave up two runs in the fourth but pitched his way out of a jam with second and third and one out, retiring Hanser Alberto, Austin Barnes and every Dodger the rest of the way. Suarez finished his night by setting down 11 in a row.

Getting length from Suarez was important Saturday night because the Phillies' bullpen, particularly the back end, has been taxed. By getting seven strong from Suarez, manager Joe Girardi was able to use only 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 they were 10-10 and haven't been above since they were 3-2. They'll look to make a serious statement Sunday afternoon at 4:10 when they hope to finish off a four-game sweep behind Aaron Nola. The Dodgers are starting 25-year-old right-hander Michael Grove, who has not pitched above Double A and is making his MLB debut.

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