Bryce Harper makes impression at first, but Phillies fall to Guardians 6-5 to end AL streak


CLEVELAND (AP) — Bryce Harper flashed some glove with a stunning catch in his first career start at first base, but the Cleveland Guardians ended Philadelphia’s interleague winning streak at 12 games by edging the Phillies 6-5 on Friday night.

José Ramírez had four hits and David Fry drove in two runs for Cleveland.

J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run homer and Bryson Stott had a solo shot for Philadelphia, which squandered some early scoring chances and lost for just the fourth time in its last 19 road games.

The Phillies also finished one win shy of matching the record of 13 consecutive interleague wins shared by the New York Yankees (2003-04), Tampa Bay (2004), Miami (2013-14) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2017).

But Philadephia got its long-awaited look at Harper as an infielder, and he made quite a first impression.

The two-time MVP looked like a seasoned first baseman while judging and catching a foul ball before tumbling into an empty photographer’s pit in the third inning. Harper raced under Amed Rosario’s high popup before grabbing it and falling uninjured.

Harper spent the past few weeks getting ready for the position move, and as if the baseball gods wanted to see if he was ready, Cleveland’s Steven Kwan led off the first inning by hitting a bouncer toward the All-Star slugger.

Harper fielded it cleanly and flipped the ball to Suárez covering for the out. The Phillies moved Harper to first to see if he could handle that spot in preparation of possibly pursuing a trade for an outfielder before the Aug. 1 deadline.

After stranding 10 runners and leaving the bases loaded three times through six innings, the Phillies used the long ball to get back into it.

Harper walked leading off the seventh and Realmuto followed with a 413-foot shot into the left-field bleachers off reliever Nick Sandlin. Three pitches later, Stott connected for his ninth homer, a towering shot to right to make it 6-5.

Trevor Stephan (5-4) got the Guardians through the seventh and eighth, and closer Emmanuel Clase worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 26th save in 33 tries.

Josh Bell hit a run-scoring double with two outs off Ranger Suárez (2-5) and Fry followed with an RBI single to give the Guardians a 2-0 lead in the first.

The Phillies loaded the bases with two outs in the second against Guardians rookie Gavin Williams, but the right-hander escaped by popping up Jake Cave, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Trea Turner tripled with one out in Philadelphia’s third and scored on a groundout by Nick Castellanos to cut Cleveland’s lead to 2-1.

In the fourth, Guardians center fielder Myles Straw helped Williams by throwing out Alec Bohm at the plate. Philadelphia again loaded the bases with two down, but Turner lined out to Straw to end the threat.


Phillies: RHP Seranthony Dominguez (oblique strain) pitched one inning (17 pitches) for Triple-A Lehigh Valley at Toledo as he moves closer to a return. He’s expected to pitch again Sunday. … LHP José Alvarado (elbow inflammation) played catch from 75 feet for the second straight day without any issues. Manager Rob Thomsen said Alvarado will follow a similar program as Dominguez and throw bullpen sessions before being sent on a rehab assignment.

Guardians: RHP Cal Quantrill (shoulder inflammation), one of three Cleveland starters on the injured list, will throw a bullpen session Saturday as he continues to slowly work his way back. The Guardians are exercising more caution with Quantrill, who was on the IL earlier this season with the same ailment.


Guardians RHP Tanner Bibee (5-2, 3.32 ERA) starts against Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler (7-4, 4.04), making his second career appearance vs. Cleveland.

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