CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Harper has been playing catch-up since his free agency carried over into spring training.
With a week left until opening day, the Philadelphia Phillies’ big-money addition looks ready to pay off.
Harper hit his first two Grapefruit League homers, combining with fellow new additions Andrew McCutchen and J.T. Realmuto to help Philadelphia pound the Toronto Blue Jays 13-6 Thursday.
Harper smashed a two-run homer to right off Sam Gaviglio in the fourth inning and had a solo shot against lefty Thomas Pannone in the sixth. McCutchen also took Gaviglio deep in the second, and Realmuto had a three-run shot in the fourth. That trio has been sharp this spring, with Harper posting a 1.192 OPS, Realmuto at 1.285 and McCutchen .830.
Gift Ngoepe and Andrew Knapp also went deep, and Vince Velasquez struck out nine but allowed three runs and two homers in 3 1/3 innings. Velasquez has a 12.79 ERA this spring.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered to continue a hot spring with Toronto, and Randal Grichuk, Billy McKinney and Rowdy Tellez also went deep. Gaviglio was charged with eight runs.
GIANTS 5, CUBS 5
Days after San Francisco starter Jeff Samardzija revealed he was in favor of ties during the regular season, the Giants allowed a pinch-hit solo homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth to finish tied with the Cubs. Samardzija pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits, including two home runs. He struck out four. Ty Blach retired the first two batters in the ninth before Kevonte Mitchell took him deep. Brandon Belt hit his fourth home run.
Kyle Hendricks pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits for the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo doubled and Albert Almora Jr. hit his third home run of the spring.