Steer hits grand slam in 10th, Cincinnati Reds beat Philadelphia 6-3; Phillies’ Harper hitless again

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Spencer Steer hit a grand slam in the 10th inning to lift the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.

Steer clubbed a 2-1, 91 mph fastball off Connor Brogdon (0-1).

“Feels good,” Steer said. “Nice to do something positive for the team. I like being in those situations. It was just a really cool moment. I was just happy to come through for the squad.”

Bryce Harper was hitless again in his return to Philadelphia’s lineup after an off day. He was in his usual spot, batting third and playing first base, after being off in Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves. He went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts, falling to 0 for 11 with five strikeouts in three games.

“It’s always timing with him,” Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said. “He’ll get it.”

Harper represented the tying run at the plate in the 10th when Tejay Antone (1-0) struck him out with runners on second and third.

Reds manager David Bell decided against intentionally walking Harper and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate.

“Of course,” Bell said when asked if he thought about walking him. “He’s a great hitter. At some point, you have to trust your guys. You don’t ever want him to come to the plate, but tonight we were able to get it done.”

With pinch-runner Bubba Thompson starting the 10th on second base, Brogdon walked Will Benson and Jonathan India. He started Steer with two balls before a called strike made the count 2-1. Steer lined the next pitch over the wall in left-center field.

“You can’t leave a ball there to a big-league hitter,” Brogdon said.

The game was played on a cool, drizzly night that felt much colder than the game-time temperature of 52 degrees. The weather is expected to be even colder and wetter on Tuesday night in the second contest of the scheduled three-game series.

Thomson said he didn’t consider resting Harper on Monday but made no promises for Tuesday.

The 31-year-old Harper is in his first full season playing first base after reconstructive elbow surgery forced him to move from right field. The two-time NL MVP was fooled and swung through a breaking ball in the first. He flied out to medium center in the third, lined out hard to the pitcher in the sixth and popped out to short center in the eighth with runners on first and second and no outs before striking out in the 10th.

“I think it was just a really good approach against him,” said Reds starter Andrew Abbott, who allowed two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings. “We had a really good plan about keeping him off-balance as much as possible. When you’re able to execute, it kind of plays into your favor.”

Philadelphia starter Cristopher Sánchez retired 11 straight Reds, striking out eight of them, before a walk to India and double by Steer to lead off the sixth ended the lefty’s night. India and Steer scored on RBI singles by Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Jeimer Candelario that tied it at 2.

Bohm’s two-run double off the end of the bat in the first gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

Alexis Diaz (1-1) got the win for the Reds.

UP NEXT

Reds RHP Graham Ashcraft is scheduled to face Philadelphia RHP Spencer Turnbull in the second contest of the three-game set on Tuesday evening.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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