PHILADELPHIA (AP) —flashed a gauntlet with a stunning catch in his first career start at first base, but the Cleveland Guardians ended Philadelphia’s 12-game interleague winning streak by beating the Phillies 6-5 on Friday night.
José Ramírez had four hits and David Fry batted in two runs for Cleveland.
JT Realmuto hit a two-run homer and Bryson Stott had a solo shot for Philadelphia, which squandered some early scoring opportunities and lost for the fourth time in its last 19 road games.
The Phillies also finished one win shy of tying 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 his much-anticipated look at Harper as an infielder, and he made quite the first impression.
The two-time MVP looked like a seasoned first baseman as he judged and caught a foul ball before tumbling into an empty photographer’s pit in the third inning. Harper raced under Amed Rosario’s tall pop-up before grabbing it and falling unscathed.
Harper has been preparing for the position move for the past few weeks, 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 in the direction of the All-Star slugger.
Harper fielded it cleanly and turned the ball to Suárez who put out the clean sheet. The Phillies moved Harper into first place to see if he can handle that spot in preparation for a possible trade for an outfielder before the August 1 deadline.
After stranding 10 runners and leaving the bases loaded three times in six innings, the Phillies used the long ball to get back in.
Harper walked at the start of the seventh inning and Realmuto followed with a 120-yard shot into the left stand off reliever Nick Sandlin. Three pitches later, Stott hit his ninth homer, a towering shot to his right to make it 6-5.
Trevor Stephan (5-4) guided the Guardians through the seventh and eighth, and closer Emmanuel Clase worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 26th save in 33 attempts.
Josh Bell hit a runscoring 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 inning against Guardians rookie Gavin Williams, but the right-hander got away by popping up Jake Cave, recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley earlier in the day.
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 midfielder 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 Domínguez (oblique trunk) threw one inning (17 pitches) for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in Toledo as he closes in on a return. He is expected to pitch again on Sunday. LHP José Alvarado (elbow inflammation) played for the second day in a row without any problems from a height of 22 meters. Manager Rob Thomsen said Alvarado will follow a similar program to Domínguez and conduct bullpen sessions before being sent on rehab.
Guardians: RHP Cal Quantrill (Shoulder Inflammation), one of three Cleveland starters on the injured list, will give a bullpen session on Saturday as he slowly works his way back. The Guardians are more cautious about Quantrill, who was on the IL earlier this season with the same condition.
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 makes.