Harper homers for 2nd straight day in simulated game

              FILE - In this Saturday, March 2, 2019 file photo, Bryce Harper speaks during a news conference at the Philadelphia Phillies spring training baseball facility in Clearwater, Fla. For years, the NL East has been soft as a bunt single. Not anymore.. Even before Bryce Harper decided to stay in the division, four of the five teams spent this offseason swinging for the fences. In addition to defending champion Atlanta, the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals all have enough firepower to potentially contend for the playoffs. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Harper homered for the second straight day in a simulated game against Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguers.

Harper had an opposite-field homer to left in the first of 12 plate appearances Thursday at the team’s minor league complex. Harper also lined a double down the right-field line, singled up the middle, drove a deep fly to center and had a broken-bat flare to left center.

Philadlphia manager Gabe Kapler watched part of Harper’s game before the Phillies played the New York Yankees next to the complex at Spectrum Field.

“You want to make sure that he gets through those at-bats with good timing and good health, and saw that he did,” Kapler said.

After agreeing last weekend to a record $330 million, 13-year contract, the 26-year-old outfielder is set to make his first appearance in a spring training game.

“We’re good to go for Saturday at this point,” Kapler said.

Harper also ran the bases. He will have a light workout Friday and get a couple at-bats Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays as the designated hitter.

Harper has been an All-Star in six of seven big league seasons and was a unanimous pick for the NL MVP award in 2015.

His contract topped the $325 million, 13-year deal outfielder Giancarlo Stanton reached before the 2015 season with the Miami Marlins, who traded him to the New York Yankees in December 2017.

NOTES: Kapler thinks OF Odubel Herrera (hamstring) should be ready for opening day. “It’s hard to predict how injuries are going to react but I’ll say that my inclination is that we’re not concerned about Odubel starting the season on the DL,” Kapler said. … 2B Cesar Hernandez (hip) took batting practice and participated in defensive drills