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Bryce Harper’s two-run blast propels Phillies to first World Series in 13 years

For the first time since 2009, the Philadelphia Phillies are headed back to the World Series.

Bryce Harper’s two-run homer in the eighth inning propelled the Phillies past the San Diego Padres 4-3 at Citizens Bank Park, giving the Phils a 4-1 series win and an eighth World Series appearance in franchise history. Rhys Hoskins also delivered a two-run homerun earlier in the game to continue an impressive run at the plate over the past two games.

Hoskins’ two-run blast to left field in the bottom of the third inning gave the Phils a 2-0 advantage against Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish. It was Hoskins’ third homerun this weekend after delivering two blasts in Saturday’s 10-6 Game 4 victory.

Juan Soto cut the Padres deficit to 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, launching a homerun into right-center field off starter Zack Wheeler.

San Diego took a 3-2 advantage in the top of the seventh inning thanks to Josh Bell’s RBI double off Wheeler before Seranthony Dominguez’s wild pitch allowed Jose Azocar to score from third base later in the inning. However, the Phillies would reclaim the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth as Harper’s opposite field homerun off Padres relieve Robert Suarez boosted Rob Thomson’s squad back into the lead.

David Robertson came in to pitch the top of the ninth inning, and despite having two runners on base, was able to get Padres catcher Austin Nola to pop up to Nick Castellanos.

Harper was named National League Championship Series M.V.P. after hitting .400 (8-for-20) with three doubles, two homers, and five RBIs in the series. It was the biggest homerun of the two-time N.L. M.V.P’s career to date, as the Phillies now prepare to face either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees (Houston leads 3-0 heading into Sunday night’s Game 4).

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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