MLB Wrap: Harper homer powers Nats past Reds

MLB Wrap: Harper homer powers Nats past Reds
April 27, 2013, 8:00 pm
Share This Post

The Nationals beat the Reds for a third straight game on Saturday. (USA Today Images)

The Phillies beats the Mets, 9-4, on Saturday (see Instant Replay). In the win, their outfielders finally produced offensively, putting up four hits and five RBIs.

Sunday, when Carlos Ruiz returns from his suspension, the team will have to decide between Erik Kratz and Humberto Quintero for its backup.

Here is a quick recap of notable games from around the majors on Saturday:

Harper lifts Nats
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals acquired centerfielder Denard Span for his ability to hit leadoff and play defense.

Saturday against Cincinnati, it was his fielding that stole the show.

Span made pair of impressive catches to halt Reds rallies, Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer and scored twice, and Dan Haren had his best start of the young season as the Nationals beat the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3.

Span and Jayson Werth each had two hits for Washington, which has won the first three games of the four-game set. Harper's two RBIs gave him 18, a Nationals record for April.

"(We were) two hits away, had it not been for Span, from tying that game up or even going ahead," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Those were two heck of a plays. Very rarely do you see two Web Gems in one game." (See full recap.)

Sputtering Braves lose again
DETROIT -- After pitching into the seventh inning in his best start of the season, Rick Porcello was asked if the comfortable weather at Comerica Park helped his breaking ball.

The Detroit right-hander had a different explanation.

"I just think I stayed in the game long enough to get a feel for it today," Porcello said.

Last weekend, Porcello allowed nine runs and was pulled before the end of the first inning, but he bounced back nicely Saturday, holding the Atlanta Braves mostly in check in the Tigers' 7-4 victory. Omar Infante and Jhonny Peralta both hit two-run homers for Detroit, and Jose Valverde pitched a perfect ninth for his second save since returning to the team earlier this week.

Infante's homer off Kris Medlen (1-3) broke a 3-all tie in the fourth, and Porcello (1-2) allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings. He was convinced his previous start at Los Angeles wasn't as bad as it looked -- but this was an important showing for the 24-year-old who wasn't assured of a spot in Detroit's rotation until he won a job in spring training. (See full recap.)

Hafner hero as Yanks win
NEW YORK -- Travis Hafner hit a three-run homer, then lumbered around the bases for a go-ahead triple in the seventh inning that sent CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees over the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 Saturday.

Vernon Wells delivered another key hit against his former team as the Yankees beat Toronto for the third straight day. With Mariano Rivera getting a day off to rest, Joba Chamberlain worked around a pair of one-out singles in the ninth for his first save since 2010.

Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie homered for the Blue Jays, who dropped to 1-5 on their seven-game road trip.

Hafner wiped out a 3-0 deficit with his sixth home run, a long drive to center field in the fourth off J.A. Happ. A few innings later, the slugging designated hitter broke a 4-all tie. (See full recap.)

Looking for Phillies tickets? Buy them through the Wanamaker Entertainment Group.