CINCINNATI — The Phillies’ offense is coming around in September, with their top hitter leading the way.
Bryce Harper drove in his 100th run with a single, J.T. Realmuto had a pair of hits and a sacrifice fly, and the Phillies won their third in a row Tuesday night, 6-2 over the Cincinnati Reds.
Harper’s fifth-inning single made him the first Phillie since Ryan Howard in 2011 to have 30 homers and 100 RBIs in the same season. Harper hit his 30th homer in the series opener, a 7-1 Phillies win on Monday. The last Phillies outfielder to have 30 homers and 100 RBIs in a season was Pat Burrell in 2005.
“30/100 is a huge accomplishment,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “As a kid, it’s what every hitter dreams about — can I get to 30 and 100? Bryce seems to do it regularly. Regardless how much it means to him, I think it means a lot to his teammates.”
Last year, Harper had 34 homers and 100 RBIs with the Nationals. There’s plenty of time left to add to those gaudy numbers.
“RBIs come with a good team,” Harper said. “It’s Sept. 3. There’s a long way to go.”
Harper’s single also gave him an 11-game hitting streak. Philadelphia gave him a 13-year deal worth $330 million, hoping he’d be at his best in the biggest games. He’s been coming through as they try to catch the Cubs for a wild card berth.
“I feel pretty good right now,” Harper said. “Just got to keep going. It’s a big month for us.”
Left-hander Amir Garrett (4-2) walked a pair of batters and gave up Cesar Hernandez’s RBI single that put the Phillies ahead to stay. Realmuto doubled, singled, tied the game 1-1 with a sacrifice fly and scored on Rhys Hoskins’ sacrifice fly. Scott Kingery homered in the ninth.
Nick Vincent (1-2) pitched an inning in relief of Vince Velasquez, who lasted three innings and allowed Aristides Aquino’s RBI single .
The fading Reds followed their pattern of scoring in the first inning and then going cold. The Reds have lost nine of their last 13 games, unable to sustain their offense for more than a few days at a time.
“We do mix up the lineup quite a bit,” manager David Bell said. “We do believe in our guys.”
JOIN THE CROWD
Harper is the eighth National Leaguer to reach 100 RBIs this season.
Jean Segura returned after spending a couple days with his family following his grandmother’s death. He got into the game as a pinch hitter, doubled and scored.
“It was an emotional lift for him, very clearly so,” Kapler said. “And I thought it was an emotional lift for our team. When your heart is heavy, you’re trying to separate yourself from that in a big moment on the field and he was able to do that. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
Aquino was honored Tuesday as the NL player and rookie for August. He led the majors with 14 homers and 33 RBIs. Aquino was called up to play right field when Yasiel Puig was traded to Cleveland.
Fans cheered Jay Bruce when he pinch hit in the sixth and flied out, leaving him 0 for 19. Bruce played more than eight seasons in Cincinnati and has the second-most homers at Great American Ball Park, trailing Joey Votto.
Phillies: Infielder Jose Pirela and right-handed reliever Nick Pivetta were recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies got Pirela from the Padres in July.
Reds: Right-hander Keury Mella and utility player Brian O’Grady were recalled from Triple-A Louisville.
Phillies: Zach Eflin is expected to make his next start as scheduled. Eflin had some tightness in his oblique in his last start, a 5-2 win over the Mets on Sunday.
Reds: Third baseman Eugenio Suarez was out of the lineup a second straight day with a sore left hand, which was hit by a pitch Sunday.
Phillies: Aaron Nola (12-4) tries to get to 13 wins for the second time in his career. He went 17-6 last season. In five career starts against the Reds, he’s 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA.
Reds: Trevor Bauer (10-12) pitches on short rest for the fifth time in his career. He gave up six runs in only four innings of a 10-6 loss at St. Louis on Sunday. Bauer is 1-5 with an 8.40 ERA with Cincinnati.