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Bryce Harper had already struck out twice
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Phanatic spikes in at the plate in the seventh inning.With two runners on base and no outs Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , Harper never got the chance to swing the bat with “ill” — as in, part of the Phillies — stamped on the knob. He was intentionally walked to bring up Rhys Hoksins, and he quickly flexed the power that proved just how dangerous Philadelphia can be.“It’s scary, right? Scary good,” Hoskins said.Harper went 0 for 3 with an intentional walk and failed to deliver a big hit — but no worries, the Phillies picked up the scoring slack. Hoskins hit a grand slam set up by Harper in a 10-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.“What a fan base, what a crowd we had today,” Harper said. “If we can keep that for 162, it would be sweet.”Harper had the city electric in anticipation for his first game in Philly since he signed a $330 million, 13-year deal that was briefly the richest in baseball. He bowed to thousands of fans in No. 3 jerseys who gave him rousing standing ovations and chucked a ball into the third deck for a souvenir.He never launched one there with his bat.Harper’s presence in the lineup helped blow the game open when the Braves walked the lefty slugger to load the bases. Hoskins, once the franchise player, followed with a grand slam off reliever Luke Jackson that blew open the game.Citizens Bank Park was packed with nearly 45,000 fans dressed like their new favorite player and ready to go wild, hours before the first pitch. Harper fist-bumped fans as the Phillies walked through the outfield stands and onto the red carpet on the field for opening day festivities. He got his first standing O when he jogged out for the lineup introduction — his green cleats visible from the last row of the upper deck — and heard another when he dug in for his first at-bat in the first inning.“It was pretty unbelievable to be a part of it,” Harper said.He capped the win with a celebratory dance with his fellow outfielders he designed off a video game.The other NL MVP pickup this offseason for the Phillies delivered instantly: Andrew McCutchen , who signed a $50 million, three-year deal Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , led off the game with a homer to left off Braves starter Julio Teheran (0-1).Maikel Franco hit a three-run homer to left in the sixth inning for a 6-1 lead in a fun day in Philly against the defending NL East champions.Aaron Nola (1-0) was uncharacteristically wild, walking five in six innings; one more than any start in 2018 when he was third in Cy Young Award voting.“When he got the lead, he was a different animal,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s like all great pitchers are.”Harper grounded out, then struck out his next two times up against Teheran. The Phillies had nine All-Stars, two MVPs, one Cy Young Award winner and one Rookie of the Year award winner on the roster. The average age of the 25-man roster is 28.5.“They’ve added great pieces,” Snitker said.Phillies fans left jerseys of their 2008 favorites at home in favor of fresh Harper gear in one of the warmest opening days in Philadelphia in recent memory.“Bryce brought the sunshine,” a smiling security guard said as he checked backpacks.Harper walked into the ballpark wearing a black T-shirt dubbed “Phan Fiction ” made by South Fellini that featured Philly mascots the Phanatic and Gritty in a “Pulp Fiction” homage. Fans slammed the website and caused it to temporarily crash, and by the time it was up, the shirt was sold out.Harper sparked a merchandise frenzy and fans filled Citizens Bank Park in T-shirts and jerseys. Major League Baseball said Harper boasted the sport’s top-selling jersey, ending a two-year reign for Aaron Judge’s No. 99.The first game of the season looked like a lot of Octobers from the Phillies last glory era that ended in 2011. One fan held a sign that said “The Year of Bryce.”Try the next 13.TRAINER’S ROOMPhillies: LHP Tommy Hunter (right flexor strain) is set to pitch in a minor league game on Friday. OF Roman Quinn (right oblique strain) could return in April. RHP Vince Velasquez will start the season in the bullpen and is expected to make his first start April 8.THE SPARKQuestlove of The Roots spun tunes outside the stadium and one-hopped the first pitch in a game where excitement exceeded the height of the DJ’s afro.IN THE PINCHAtlanta’s Matt Joyce hit his seventh career pinch-hit home run, a two-run shot in the seventh.QUOTABLE“Just bring some fun to the game. The Phanatic is always happy and smiling, so why not?” — Harper on his Phillie Phanatic cleats.UP NEXTBraves: RHP Bryse Wilson starts Saturday and RHP Kyle Wright finishes the series Sunday night. It’s the first time since 1905 the Braves will start two rookies in the first three games.Phillies: The Phillies send RHP Nick Pivetta to the mound Saturday and RHP Jake Arrieta takes the hill on Sunday night. FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Don’t call Marwin Gonzalez a utilityman.At least not around the Minnesota Twins.“That’s something I’ve heard used before, all the time,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said on Monday after welcoming Gonzalez to the team’s spring training ballpark. “We consider Marwin an everyday player. He’s just a multi-positional everyday player.”A veteran of seven seasons Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , all with the Astros, Gonzalez has played every position except pitcher and catcher — and played them well. In Houston’s 2017 World Series championship season, his best year, he committed eight errors in 134 games while batting .303 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs. He finished in the top 20 of the AL MVP voting.Despite a dropoff last year (.247, 16 HR, 68 RBIs), the Twins will pay Gonzalez $21 million for the next two years even though they don’t really have a spot for him.One spot wouldn’t be enough, anyway.“It’s kind of boring for me to be in the same spot every day,” he said. “I used to be that way, years ago I wanted to be good at one position and be able to play there and establish myself for my entire career. With time, I fall in love with what I do and then I feel comfortable everywhere.”The Twins just gave shortstop Jorge Polanco a new deal and added Jonathan Schoop at second base and C.J. Cron at first. Third baseman Miguel Sano, an All-Star in 2017, is seen as a potential franchise cornerstone if he can stay healthy.The outfield is also crowded, with Eddie Rosario in left and Max Kepler in right; five-time All-Star Nelson Cruz, Minnesota’s highest-profile offseason addition, is the designated hitter.The Twins already had Ehire Adrianza as a backup infielder.Gonzalez expressed no preference for any one position — or even how he might choose to be bounced around — saying it was up to the manager to decide. Baldelli said they would figure that out over the next month.But it’s something he’s excited to think about.“It means everything. Because it doesn’t mean just one particular thing or two things. It just gives you so many different options,” Baldelli said.“What he does is incredibly difficult and challenging for most. But also not everyone embraces that role Linki görebilmek için giriş yapmanız ya da üye olmanız gerekir. , either. To do what he does, it takes a very special player.”Gonzalez, who turns 30 next month, will receive $12 million this year and $9 million in 2020. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Twins designated outfielder Zack Granite for assignment.The deal was agreed to in principle last week but not finalized until Gonzalez passed a physical. He said he has been working out in Houston before moving to Miami two weeks ago, doing all baseball activities except facing pitchers, to avoid injury.Dozens of free agents remain unsigned, including market leader Bryce Harper, who is expected to get a deal topping the $300 million, 10-year contract signed by shortstop Manny Machado only last week.Waiting until spring training was well underway before signing was “kind of frustrating,” Gonzalez said.“Especially the last week, going to social media and seeing everybody in a baseball uniform,” he said. “And you are just working out by yourself and getting ready for spring training. But I think that the wait was worth it. I couldn’t be in a better spot than down here.”__
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