PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run homer and Taijuan Walker tossed six sharp innings to help the Toronto Blue Jays snap a six-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
Phillies slugger Bryce Harper exited with lower back stiffness after he struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Harper took a slow walk in the dugout toward the clubhouse and signaled to manager Joe Girardi he was done for the day. Harper has 11 homers and 28 RBIs for the Phillies, who are trying to hang on over the final week and secure their first playoff berth since 2011.
The Blue Jays (27-26) held onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the American League. They return home to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, for the final seven games to try and earn a trip to the postseason.
The Phillies hit the road for the final seven games and played about as poorly as their sports complex neighbor, the Philadelphia Eagles, as they failed to sweep the Blue Jays. On a sports day in Philly that normally would have been hopping with tailgates, thick traffic and — given the results — a cacophony of boos, the Phillies limped out of town in front of a few thousand cardboard cutouts and the Phanatic standing atop the dugout and shaking his hands at Blue Jays pitchers in a furry, failed attempt at a curse.
Walker (4-3) allowed four hits and struck out eight on a chilly, breezy day at the ballpark. Walker, acquired last month from Seattle to help Toronto’s playoff push, allowed only Did Gregorius’ RBI double off the right-field scoreboard in the second.
Trailing 6-1 in the seventh, the Phillies loaded the bases with no outs with Harper up against righty Thomas Hatch. Harper struck out swinging. Alex Bohm’s grounder up the middle was thrown away by second baseman Joe Panik, making it a 6-3 game.
Toronto’s bullpen handled it the rest of the way. Anthony Bass earned his sixth save.
Adonis Medina (0-1) allowed two runs in four innings in his big league debut for the Phillies. Heath Hembree gave up Jonathan Davis’ two-run double in the sixth and Hernandez’s two-run shot in the seventh for a 6-1 lead.
The Phillies included 21 pitchers, four catchers, eight infielders and seven outfielders on their postseason pool roster.
Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (hip) returns Monday. He has missed 10 games with the injury. … Phil Gosselin took over for Harper in right field.
Toronto: Heads home to Buffalo for a four-game series with the Yankees. Neither team had announced a starter for Monday’s opener.
Phillies: Play the final seven games of the season on the road. Send RHP Zack Wheeler (4-0, 2.62 ERA) to the mound for the start of a four-game series at Washington against RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-5, 7.38).
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports