Nov. 1 (UPI) — Bryce Harper hit the first of five Philadelphia Phillies home runs to propel a 7-0 shutout victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Phillies now own a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven game series. Game 4 will be Wednesday in Philadelphia.
“It started from pitch No. 1,” Harper told MLB Network. “From getting out here with our fan base, them showing up for us each night, just the opportunity to play in front of them has been great.
“We were able to jump on them early and keep it going.”
Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm, center fielder Brandon Marsh, left fielder Kyler Schwarber and first baseman Rhys Hoskins also homered in the lopsided triumph. Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez allowed just three hits over five shutout innings. The Phillies bullpen allowed just two hits over the final four innings.
Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. allowed six hits and seven runs over 4 1/3 innings.
“It was kind of mind-boggling because he doesn’t give up homers. He usually keeps the ball in the ballpark,” Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters, when asked about McCullers.
“He wasn’t satisfied with it. We were very surprised by it. When it is 4-0 in this ballpark, you don’t want to go through your whole pitching staff.
“What can I say? The line score looks bad, but they were just hitting us.”
McCullers walked Schwarber to lead off the bottom of the first. He then struck out Hoskins and forced a pop out from Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto. Harper hit his next pitch over the right center field fence for the first two runs of the game.
The Astros stranded two runners in the top of the second. Bohm then led off the bottom of the inning with a 373-foot solo shot to left field. Marsh hit a 358-foot solo shot to right center three at-bats later for a 4-0 Phillies lead.
Phillies second baseman Jean Segura grounded out to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Marsh then hit a line drive single off McCullers in the second at-bat of the half inning. Schwarber followed with a 443-foot, two-run bomb to center field. Hoskins hit another 374-foot solo shot in the next at-bat for the final run of the night.
Phillies relievers Connor Brogdon, Kyle Gibson, Nick Nelson and Andrew Bellatti teamed up to silence the Astros hitters over the second half of Game 3.
Game 4 will be at 8:03 p.m. EDT Wednesday in Philadelphia. All World Series games will air on Fox.