Bryce Harper hits walk-off home run as Phillies advance to World Series

 

Bryce Harper hit his fifth home run of the postseason, a two-run shot in the eighth inning that turned Citizens Bank Park into a madhouse, and the slugger with the $330 million contract charged the Philadelphia Phillies to the 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres and advance to the World Series for the first time since 2009.

Rhys Hoskins also hit a two-run homer as Philadelphia continued its unlikely march to the NL title and will now contend for its first Fall Classic championship since 2008.

The monumental task of hitting is all too easy for Harper, responding with the biggest hit of his four-year career with the Phillies.

JT Realmuto led off the bottom of the inning against reliever Robert Suarez and Harper lined a 98 mph sinker on a 2-2 count down the opposite flank. The ball fell into the left field stands, again unleashing the delirium of 45,485 fans inside the stadium.

“I knew he was going to throw the best at me,” the two-time NL MVP said during a television interview. “I tried to make the best swing possible and I was able to do some damage with it.”

A left-handed hitter, Harper connected off a right-hander. The Padres opted to leave their lefty closer Josh Hader in the bullpen.

Phillies reliever David Robertson was pulled after giving up a pair of walks in the ninth. Ranger Suarez came out in relief for the first time this season and retired Trent Grisham with a bunt and then flied out Austin Nola — the brother of Phillies ace Aaron Nola — for the final out.

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After finishing third in the East Division of the National League, the Phillies do not stop surprising and now they are in the World Series.

Houston leads 3-0 in its series against the New York Yankees for the American League title. The fourth game was played on Sunday night in New York. The Fall Classic will kick off Friday night at the home of the AL champion.

 

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