PHILADELPHIA — This is how things are supposed to work.
Bryce Harper singled, doubled and homered while Aaron Nola dominated in the Phillies’ 2-0 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Harper missed Saturday’s game because of soreness in his lower back, while Nola struggled in each of his last two starts. Both raised alarms among a fan base desperate to see the team snap its nine-season postseason drought.
Harper’s and Nola’s return to form helped the Phillies win the series and improve to 8-7 before they open a three-game series Monday night against Gabe Kapler’s Giants.
Harper crushed a 2-2 sinker from Cardinals right-hander John Gant for a solo home run to right field in the first inning. The ball left Harper’s bat at 111.8 mph and traveled a projected 425 feet. His double down the left-field line in the fifth inning led to the Phillies’ second run.
Nola dazzled in nine scoreless innings. He allowed two hits. He struck out 10, giving him the 17th double-digit strikeout game of his career.