PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Kyle Schwarber made his first at-bat home with the Phillies, NL MVP Bryce Harper knocked in a run and Aaron Nola on Friday to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 9-5 win over the Oakland Athletics. Scored seven runs. ,
Schwarber’s first inaugural day in Philadelphia was a day to remember for the 29-year-old slugger. On a $79 million, four-year contract signed last month, Schwarber crushed a 427-foot homer to the right of AK starter Frankie Montas (0-1) on his seventh pitch of the game. Schwarber made an energetic run around base for his 14th career leadoff homer. The sell-out crowd of 44,232 went wild and Schwarber threw his helmet in the air for a spirited curtain call.
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—Philadelphia Phillies (@phillies) 8 April 2022
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The fun in Philly was just getting started.
Schwarber’s one-out walk in the third innings ignited a four-run blast. Harper is heard shouting “MVP! MVP!” Mantras followed him from the first day’s introduction to his final bat. He showed why he earned that award last season with a hit from the left, which he extended into a double. He was called out on the throw but remained at second base during the play’s review. The crowd cheered on the big screen with each replay that showed Harper slipping safely under the tag of second baseman Tony Kemp. The play was reversed and Harper scored on a two-RBI single from Hawkins. Didi Gregorius’ single up the middle made it 5-0.
That’s the kind of innings Phillips had in mind when he tried to end the post-2011 drought of the season. Phillips spent $179 million on Nick Castellanos and Schwarber after Harper pushed the front office to improve the team. 82-80 finish last season. Schwarber, who added an RBI single in the eighth to take a 9–5 lead, won a World Series with the Chicago Cubs and played six of his seven seasons in the Majors after the season.
Nola, the 2018 All-Star, who went 9-9 last season with an ERA of 4.63, started his fifth straight opening day. Chad Pinder hits a single homer in the fourth. Three-run shot from Seth Brown in Nola (1-0) chasing seventh. The A made it 6–5 but Brad Hand finished seventh with Jade Lowry taking second and third place runners.
Castellanos added an RBI double in the seventh to take a 7-5 lead.
The Phillies held off Mickey Moniac with a broken right hand on Day 10 of IL. He was injured in his final bat of spring training on Wednesday and could miss six weeks.
The Philly Fnatic parachuted onto the field for the first time since 1993.
In the off-season the Phillies settled a legal dispute with the creator of Fnatic, which allowed baseball’s most beloved native of the Galapagos Islands to return to its natural green, furry, bulbous-belly state.
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Fnatic wasn’t the only part of the Phillies that needed a facelift. The home run Liberty Bell had been on the fritz the previous few seasons but was repaired in time for the opening day. Phillies executive vice president David Buck said 26,000 LED lights were added to the bell and a new hydraulic system was installed to move the bell when the Phillies went deep.
Several Phillies wore T-shirts with a quote from Castellanos at their press conference after signing with the team:
“I don’t have a college degree, I hit baseball.”
Bryson Stott made his major league debut for the Phillies as a starting third baseman. Stott, the 14th overall pick in the 2019 amateur draft, finished sixth for his first hit. His first career double and in the eighth RBI made it 8-5. He dedicates his call-up — and wears the number 5 — in honor of his childhood best friend, who died of cancer six years earlier. Stott called Cooper Ricciardi’s mother on Thursday and said she was in tears over the news.
It was a defeat in his debut for first-year Oakland manager Mark Coates. Kotse was promoted from third base coach to manager and was replaced by Bob Melvin. Kotse said that his first big league game in a 17-year career was in 1998 in Philadelphia.
Oakland sends LHP Cole Irwin to the mound against Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson in the second game of a three-match series that afternoon.
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