Last night, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun blasted his fourth and fifth home runs of the season against the Pirates. His second one was a two-run home run off of Pirates closer Jason Grilli to give the Brewers an 8-7 lead, one they would hold onto for the victory.
Braun did it again on Sunday afternoon. With the Brewers trailing 2-1 in the ninth, the Pirates called on Grilli to lock down the save. But Grilli left an 0-1 breaking ball over the plate and Braun yanked it down the left field line for a solo home run, his sixth of the season.
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All six of Braun’s home runs have been hit in the state of Pennsylvania. He blasted three in one game against the Phillies on April 8 along with two on Saturday night and the one on Sunday afternoon.
The Brewers, by the way, would go on to win 3-2 in 14 innings.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.