Harper walks twice in 1st spring ABs with Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Bryce Harper drew two five-pitch walks on Saturday in his first two spring training plate appearances since signing a record contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The six-time All-Star outfielder signed a $330 million, 13-year contract last week, the largest deal in baseball history.

Batting third as the designated hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays, Harper took four straight pitches after a mighty swing and miss. Rhys Hoskins followed with a mammoth two-run homer.

Harper’s second at-bat followed a similar script as he fouled off the first pitch and then took four consecutive balls. He was replaced by a pinch-runner after his second plate appearance.

Wearing No. 3, Harper earned a loud ovation from fans at Spectrum Field.

The 26-year-old Harper played his first seven seasons for the Washington Nationals. He was the 2015 NL MVP.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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