Bryce Harper clobbered a baseball for the second straight afternoon and his home run proved to be the game-winner as the Phillies completed a three-game sweep of the Rockies with a 7-5 win.
It was Harper's ninth home run of the season and second in two months off Rockies lefty specialist Mike Dunn. Harper has five extra-base hits over his last four games — three doubles and two homers.
Harper is up to .304/.407/.537 this season against left-handed pitchers with six doubles and three homers in 54 plate appearances.
He's heating up. In their next series, the Phillies face three consecutive lefties Tuesday through Thursday.
With Hector Neris unavailable after pitching two innings Saturday, Juan Nicasio, Adam Morgan and Pat Neshek were strong in relief.
Nicasio struck out Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story in the seventh inning and got Nolan Arenado to ground out with two men aboard to end the threat. Morgan pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts. Neshek threw 11 pitches to earn his third save of the season.
The sweep was the Phillies' second of the season. They wrapped up their homestand Sunday with a 4-3 record and are 18-10 at home.
The Phils are 27-19 overall as they hit the road for a week-long trip. They lead the Braves by 2½ games, the Mets by 6½ games and the Nationals by 7½ games. The Mets have lost five in a row.
Clutch off the bench
J.T. Realmuto, who did not start, snapped a three-week home run drought with a pinch-hit, two-run shot off Rockies reliever Bryan Shaw in the sixth inning. It was Realmuto's first career pinch-hit homer and it tied the game three batters before Harper put the Phils ahead for good.
Andrew Knapp started in Realmuto's place and walked three times, scoring twice.
McCutchen stays hot
Andrew McCutchen had another productive day at the plate, reaching his first three times up with a walk, a two-run single and another single.
The two-run single should have been a double and it could have been a bases-clearing double had Knapp read it correctly on first base. It was a deep drive to left-center field but Knapp hesitated thinking it had a chance to be caught. As a result, he advanced only to second.
In his final AB of the day, McCutchen lined out sharply to warning track in left-center.
Jerad Eickhoff hadn't allowed a home run in 30 innings entering his last start against the Brewers. Milwaukee homered off him twice and the Rockies hit three more on Sunday. That's five home runs Eickhoff has allowed in his last nine innings.
His ERA has risen to 3.23. Eickhoff does not have a huge margin for error. He's heavily reliant on his curveball to the point that facing the same team twice in less than a month can be more problematic for him than other pitchers.
The Rockies came into Sunday's game having scored an average of 6.9 runs per game in May, by far the most in the National League. The Cubs, who the Phillies face next, are second at 5.1.
Scott Kingery (hamstring) returned from a month-long absence and got his first-ever start in center field. He stroked a line-drive single to left in his first at-bat and later walked and stole a base.
With Odubel Herrera hitting .234 with a .297 on-base percentage, Kingery could continue to see regular time in center field, especially against left-handed starters.
The Phillies head to the midwest for a seven-game road trip to Chicago and Milwaukee, beginning with four games at Wrigley Field.
There are two very interesting pitching matchups in the Cubs series.
In Game 1, Jake Arrieta faces the pitcher the Cubs chose to pay instead of him: Yu Darvish.
In Game 3, it's a battle of left-handed Coles past and present. The Phillies are the only team Cole Hamels has never faced.
Monday night at 8:05 — Jake Arrieta (4-4, 4.02) vs. Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.14)
Tuesday night at 7:07 — Zach Eflin (5-4, 2.89) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (4-3, 3.68)
Wednesday night at 8:05 — LHP Cole Irvin (2-0, 2.77) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.13)
Thursday afternoon at 2:20 — Aaron Nola (4-0, 4.47) vs. LHP Jon Lester (3-2, 2.09)
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