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Pirates toppled by Gregorius HR

PHILADELPHIA — Didi Gregorius hit a go-ahead, three-run home run in the seventh inning, Bryce Harper had an RBI double and the Philadelphia Phillies pulled closer to first place in the NL East with an 8-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Philadelphia moved within a game of first-place Atlanta after the Braves lost 6-5 to San Diego in the completion of a suspended game that was halted in the fifth inning on July 21. The Braves were set to play their regularly scheduled game at San Diego later Friday night.

The Phillies bullpen tied a major league record with its 34th blown save, but Philadelphia still won its fourth straight and eighth in 10 games.

Brad Miller and Phillies starter Kyle Gibson also went deep, Hector Neris (4-6) pitched 1ª scoreless innings and Ian Kennedy earned his 26th save and 10th since joining the Phillies at the trade deadline with a scoreless ninth.

After Pittsburgh took a 6-5 lead in the seventh on Wilmer Difo’s pinch-hit drive against Cam Bedrosian, the Phillies went ahead in the bottom of the inning.

Harper, serenaded with “M-V-P! M-V-P!” chants from the 20,548 in attendance, led off with a walk. After two outs, Andrew McCutchen hit a dribbler down the third-base line that stayed fair for an infield hit.

Gregorius followed by sending on an 0-1, 80-mph slider from Chasen Shreve (3-2) over the wall in right.

It was the 13th homer of the season and second in two nights for Gregorius.

“Our guys grinded through at-bats and did a good job, but we came up short,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “It’s good for our group. They need to play in games like this and feel the atmosphere like it was here tonight.”

GIBSON GONER

Gibson helped himself and gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the third with his first career homer. He entered with seven hits — all singles — in 44 career at-bats.

On the mound, Gibson allowed four runs on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks in six innings.

YAJURE RETURNS

Miguel Yajure pitched 3 2/3 innings in his third appearance of the season and first since May 14 while dealing with right forearm soreness. The 23-year-old came on in the second inning after opener Sam Howard struck out all three batters he faced in the first and gave up three runs on five hits.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: LHP Dillon Peters (low back strain) was placed on the 10-day IL.

Phillies: CF Odubel Herrera was replaced after the fourth inning due to left ankle soreness.

UP NEXT

Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez (6-5, 1.60) is scheduled to face Pirates RHP Wil Crowe (4-7, 5.77) in the third contest of the four-game series on Saturday.

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