Top Gear: Harper hits inside-park HR in loss

July 28th, 2021

PHILADELPHIA -- earned this one.

Harper crushed a ball to deep center field in the fifth inning of Tuesday night's 6-4 loss to the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. He thought he had notched his 16th homer of the season. But the ball hit a little more than halfway up the wall, just out of reach of Washington center fielder Víctor Robles.

The ball kicked back into the grass in center field and Harper shifted into high gear. He raced around the bases and scored for the first inside-the-park home run of his career.

“I probably definitely hit one at a younger age, just because of the big fields and things like that,” Harper said. “Hitting one right there was pretty cool. I was pretty happy and pretty fired up in that situation.

“I saw that Robles jumped and the ball hit off the wall, kind of flew up pretty high. So once I saw that, I was trying to run as fast as I could. I saw Dusty [Wathan] waving me and got to the plate. Pretty cool.”

It was the Phillies’ first inside-the-park home run since Scott Kingery on Sept. 10, 2019, against Atlanta.

Andrew McCutchen followed with a towering solo home run to left field to cut the Nationals' lead to 6-4. It was the third time the Phils hit back-to-back homers (of any kind) this season.

It was the first time the Phillies hit back-to-back home runs in a game with one of them being an inside-the-park homer since the sixth inning against the Rockies on April 21, 2008, at Coors Field. Jayson Werth hit an inside-the-park homer followed by a solo shot from Chase Utley.

It was also the first time any team hit back-to-back home runs with one of them being an inside-the-park homer since Sept. 18, 2017, at Citizens Bank Park. The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor hit a leadoff inside-the-park homer in the first and Justin Turner followed with a solo shot.