Un-Phinished Business:Harper’s two homers lift Phillies to 2-1 series lead

By AJ Johnson

The Phillies will look to send the Braves home for the winter on Thursday.

Like Coach Prime, Bryce Harper keeps receipts – “Ha-ha, atta-boy, Harper!”

Harper obliterated two home baseballs on Wednesday that the 45,798 in attendance at Citizens Bank Park will not soon forget. Two absolute bombs, the first touching down in the upper deck, the second a laser-beam to dead center. The Phillies took Game 3 by a score of 10-2, in large part, because that’s what Harper wanted.

Nick Castellanos homered twice as Philadelphia rebounded from its disappointing loss at Atlanta on Monday night. With Trea Turner and Brandon Marsh also going yard, the Phillies set a franchise postseason record with six homers in the game.

Aaron Nola, in what could be one of his final starts in Philadelphia, pitched 5 2/3 strong innings on the mound, allowing just two runs and striking out nine.

Harper and Castellanos are the fourth pair of teammates in postseason history to each hit multiple home runs in a game, a list topped by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the 1932 World Series.

Phillies

With the two home runs, Harper set the record for homers in NLDS history, with 10 in his career (passing the Braves Chipper Jones) in just 26 games. Game 3 was the first multihomer postseason game of Harper’s career. He also now has the third-most home runs in Phillies playoff history, with nine – in just his second postseason with the team.

“(Harper’s) one of the best in the world for a reason,” Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber said. “When we’re in these moments, this is baseball at its best for him. When it’s at his best for him, anything can happen.”

“He’s a Hall of Famer,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s one of those guys that loves that stage. He’s a special player. You put him in the spotlight, and he’s going to shine.”

The Phillies are 3-0 at home in the playoffs this season and have a 25-11 career postseason record at Citizens Bank Park. The .694 winning percentage is the best among all teams with least 30 games in their home park in baseball history.

Phillies

The Braves will start right-hander Spencer Strider in Game 4. The 20-game winner went seven innings in Game 1, allowing one earned run on five hits with eight strikeouts.

Ranger Suárez, who earned a no-decision in his Game 1 start, will start for the Phillies in Game 4.

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