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Harper, Nola Lead Phillies to Series Win Over Rockies

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Behind RHP Aaron Nola's strong six-plus innings, the Philadelphia Phillies (26-19) notched their ninth series victory of the season, edging the Colorado Rockies (20-24) in Saturday's matinee at Citizens Bank Park, 2-1.

Perhaps two of the Phillies' most important players — Nola and right fielder Bryce Harper — set the tone for the club early in the game. Nola had retired each of his first five batters faced, including striking out his first three looking and tossing first-pitch strikes to all five. Harper, meanwhile, delivered the first pitch he saw at the plate 466 feet into Ashburn Alley — his second-longest Statcast-tracked home run (since 2015). The 114.1 miles per hour exit velocity, according to MLB's Sarah Langs, was also Harper's third-hardest hit Statcast-tracked home run.

The Phillies grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third; with two runners in scoring position, shortstop Jean Segura scored on a Senzatela wild pitch — the right-hander's first of the season and third of his now 66-appearance career.

Nola improved to 4-0, while tying his career single-game high for strikeouts (12). The right-hander limited Rockies batters to going just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, with the lone hit being a seventh-inning, no-out RBI double by pinch-hitter Ryan McMahon. Phillies southpaw Adam Morgan (hold, 9) and right-hander Seranthony Dominguez (hold, 5) prevented further damage in the frame by maintaining the club's 2-1 lead. Hector Neris recorded a two-inning save, his seventh in as many opportunities.

The Phillies found a way to win, despite being outhit 6-9, going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and leaving nine men on base.

Game Notes:

  • Prior to his mammoth home run, Harper had gone hitless with one strikeout in five at-bats against Rockies starter RHP Antonio Senzatela (.000/.167/.000). 
  • With his seventh inning double, Harper collected his first multi-hit game since May 7, and just his second since his career-high five-hit game, away against the Rockies on April 19.
  • Nola became the first Phillies pitcher with at least a dozen strikeouts and no runs allowed through six innings since Curt Schilling in August 1997, notes Ryan Spaeder.
  • With the win, the Phillies' season series record improved to 9-4-2.
  • Segura extended his hitting streak to nine games with his fifth-inning, one-out single.

What's Next:

  • Sunday, May 19, 2019: vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:05 p.m.
    • Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa.
    • LHP Kyle Freeland (2-5, 5.68 ERA) vs. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-2, 2.65 ERA)
    • TV: NBCSP; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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