PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryce Harper’s first long drive of the day came on his commute to the ballpark, when he tuned into the local sports radio station and heard a caller pump up the streaking Phillies.
His next one came on career homer No. 299.
Long time listener, long ball hitter.
Alec Bohm followed an intentional walk to Harper with a go-ahead three-run homer, Harper moved within one of 300 homers and Philadelphia won its fifth consecutive game, 12-7 over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
“We come in here and play with the Phillies across our chest,” Harper said. “We’re all family, we’re all pulling on that same rope. We just have a great group in here. Lot of fun and a really good team.”
Shohei Ohtani had three hits and knocked in two runs for an Angels team that reportedly put at least six players on waivers and seemingly surrendered any shot at salvaging the season.
Kyle Schwarber hit his 37th homer of the season, Bryson Stott added a two-run homer and Trea Turner hit a solo shot for the Phillies, who hold the top spot in the NL wild-card standings. Philadelphia matched a season high with five home runs.
Luis Rengifo homered twice and Randal Grichuk went deep for Los Angeles. The Angels, their playoff chances all but gone, have lost seven of nine.
On a humid night in Philly, the ball carried for both teams. The five homers pushed Philadelphia’s total for August to 57.
Bohm crushed one of the biggest ones yet.
Angels starter Tyler Anderson (5-6) failed to hold a 4-2 lead against Philly’s power hitters in the sixth. With a runner on second and no outs, Anderson never let Harper swing the bat in a lefty-vs.-lefty matchup. Bohm buried the second pitch into the left field seats for his 15th homer of the year and a 5-4 lead.
“With the way Bryce has been swinging, I don’t really take that as disrespect,” Bohm said. “I just feel like he’s going to homer every time he swings the bat. I get it. My job is just to try and make it look like the wrong decision.”
Turner tacked on a two-run triple that capped a six-run sixth. Stott’s 14th homer of the year in the seventh made it 11-5.
The Phillies swept a three-game weekend series against St. Louis and can complete a three-game sweep of the Angels on Wednesday.
The Phillies might see yet another Harper milestone.
One fan wore a Harper jersey wearing a vertical 300 for the numbers and others held signs saying they were at Citizens Bank Park to see history. Harper pushed 300 to the brink when he smashed a homer off the second-level facade.
He laughed when he said he dedicated the homer to the radio caller.
He’ll become the 158th player in MLB history with 300 homers.
Michael Lorenzen (8-8) struck out five and allowed three earned runs in six innings to win for the first time since his Aug. 9 no-hitter against Washington.
He escaped a jam in the fifth when Ohtani was thrown out trying to steal third base to end the inning.
ESPN reported Angels starting pitcher Lucas Giolito, relievers Dominic Leone, Matt Moore and Reynaldo Lopez, and outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Grichuk were placed on waivers. The Angels would get salary relief and the players could sign with contenders if they are claimed on Thursday. The six players will still be on the roster for Wednesday’s finale against the Phillies.
The Angels made trade-deadline moves to acquire Giolito and Lopez from the Chicago White Sox and Grichuk and first baseman C.J. Cron from the Colorado Rockies. The moves signaled they were serious about making a postseason push with Ohtani, but the Angels unraveled after the deadline and fell out of first place in the AL West.
They are 7-19 since the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
“It’s front office decisions that don’t affect our room,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “We’ve got to go out and win some games and play the games right.”
Angels CF Mickey Moniak left the game with back soreness.
Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (strained right hamstring) could start Sunday at Milwaukee.
Angels first baseman Nolan Schanuel tied the franchise record for longest hitting streak to start a career at nine games. Schanuel was Los Angeles’ first pick in this summer’s amateur draft.
The Angels send LHP Reid Detmers (3-10, 5.03 ERA) to the mound against Phillies LHP Cristopher Sanchez (2-3, 3.33)