Phils’ Harper back, still hitless; Hinch serves suspension
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Harper hopes to change all those zeros soon. Naw, not the ones in his contract.
Back in the lineup two days after being hit by a pitch in the ankle, the Phillies newcomer with the $330,000,000 deal was hitless Sunday, leaving him with a batting average of .000 in spring training.
Harper is 0 for 8 in 14 plate appearances over five exhibition games.
His goal for the final week in Florida? “Definitely getting a couple knocks,” Harper said.
“I don’t want to leave spring without a hit but if that happens, then March 28, here we come,” Harper said.
Harper returned as the designated hitter against the split-squad New York Yankees and went 0 for 3 with a walk.
Batting third, Harper took a called third strike on a 96 mph fastball from James Paxton in the first. Harper then grounded out to shortstop on another 96 mph offering from the left-hander.
“The timing, definitely a little behind right now,” Harper said. “A little late on some of the pitches against Paxton today. It’s going to be a process.”
Harper, who agreed to a 13-year contract in late February — almost two weeks after spring training began — Harper struck out swinging on a 90 mph pitch from Dellin Betances in the sixth.
YANKEES (SS) 7, PHILLIES 3
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff pitched three shutout innings.
YANKEES (SS) 5, ORIOLES 3
Joey Rickard had two singles for Baltimore, raising his average to .405.
ASTROS 7, BRAVES (SS) 3
Alex Bregman doubled and singled, and is hitting .438 for Houston. Framber Valdez, in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation, pitched four shutout innings.
Astros manager AJ Hinch was absent — earlier in the day, he was suspended one game by Major League Baseball for his argument and subsequent comments about umpire Angel Hernandez after a game Friday.
TIGERS 3, BRAVES (SS) 2
Rookie Touki Toussaint, currently slotted as Atlanta’s fifth starter, pitched four innings and allowed three runs on five hits.
PIRATES 8, RED SOX (SS) 1
Starling Marte hit a three-run homer and stole a base for Pittsburgh. Jameson Taillon allowed an unearned run in five innings, striking out six.
Miami starter Trevor Richards pitched six perfect innings and Pedro Alvarez hit his third home run in his last three at-bats.
Stephen Strasburg made his fourth start for Washington, pitching five innings and allowing three runs, six hits, two walks, striking out six. Juan Soto homered and doubled twice.
Yasiel Puig hit a grand slam and a two-run homer for Cincinnati.
Corey Kluber struggled in his second start for Cleveland, pitching 3 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on six hits and two walks.
Madison Bumgarner pitched 6 2/3 innings in a start for San Francisco, giving up one run and striking out six.
Delino DeShields had two singles, scoring twice and stole his fourth base for Texas.
Arizona reliever Archie Bradley retired just two batters, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.
DIAMONDBACKS (SS) 7, WHITE SOX 3
Christian Yelich had two singles and raised his average to .500. Top prospect Keston Hiura had a three-run double in a four-run eighth. Zach Davies was roughed up in his fourth start, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks.
Eric Hosmer hit a three-run double and singled for San Diego. Newcomer Manny Machado went 0 for 4 and is batting .148. Closer Kirby Yates pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two, and has yet to give up a run.
Matt Harvey made his third start for Los Angeles, giving up two runs in 4 1/3 innings. He has a 7.27 ERA this spring.