PHILLIES

More Harper drama coming to Citizens Bank Park this weekend?

PHILLIES

Two games into his minor-league injury rehabilitation assignment, Bryce Harper has two homers, two doubles, a single, two walks and six RBIs.

He had a walk-off, two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night to lift the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to a dramatic 6-5 win over Gwinnett.

There doesn’t appear to be much rust on the slugger.

And he seems to have recaptured his old flare for the dramatic.

Could his return to the lineup be moved up to this weekend when the Phillies host the Pittsburgh Pirates for three games?

“Possibly,” manager Rob Thomson said. “It just depends on how he feels.”

Harper began his rehab stint with a pair of homers on Tuesday night. He singled and doubled twice in five at-bats on Wednesday night.

Phillies officials have indicated that Harper is calling the shots on his rehab schedule. Thomson said he plans to speak with Harper by telephone on Thursday to “find out what he’s thinking and where he feels like he’s at.”

Harper suffered a broken left thumb when he was hit by a pitch from San Diego’s Blake Snell on June 25. He is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list on Thursday so the path is clear for him to return any time now.

The Phillies begin a series with the Pirates on Friday night before heading to Arizona and San Francisco next week. Despite being in playoff position and bearing down on being a season-high 15 games over .500, the Phils have played in front of crowds of just 19,166, 20,220 and 24,400 during their current series against Cincinnati.

 

The Phillies signed Harper to help win ballgames and sell tickets. Maybe he can do both this weekend.

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