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Phillies slugger Bryce Harper hits 3 homers for first hits of season - ESPN

PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper's first hit of the season was a big one. Same for his second. And his third.

Harper homered in all three of his at-bats for Philadelphia during Tuesday night's 9-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. The two-time NL MVP went 0 for 11 while playing in three of the Phillies' first four games.

The 31-year-old Harper drove a 1-2 cut fastball from Graham Ashcraft deep to center in the first inning. The 420-foot solo shot had an exit velocity of 107.7 mph.

He came up again in the fourth and hit another solo shot to right. The 367-foot homer on the first pitch of the at-bat gave Harper 1,000 career runs.

Harper then made it 3-for-3 in the bottom of the seventh, launching a 422-foot grand slam to right-center on a full-count sinker from Brent Suter to put the Phillies up 8-1.

It was Harper's 26th career multi-homer game, and he ended up with a career best 6 RBIs on the night. The seven-time All-Star last accomplished the feat on Aug. 16, 2023, at Toronto.

Jayson Werth was the last Phillies player to hit three home runs in a game at Citizens Bank Park. He did it on May 16, 2008, against Toronto.

Harper was hampered by back tightness at the end of spring training, possibly contributing to his slow start. He is in his first full season playing first base after reconstructive elbow surgery forced him to move from right field.

He tumbled into a photographer's well on Saturday and then rested during Sunday's 5-4 win over Atlanta.

The Phillies said it was a scheduled day off, but after the game manager Rob Thomson said Harper was sore. Thomson was noncommittal about playing Harper on Tuesday night, concerned about the weather forecast, but he kept the slugger in the lineup.

Information from The Associated Press

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