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Kyle Schwarber’s monster blast helps Phillies top Padres in NLCS opener

SAN DIEGO — With Zack Wheeler yielding just one hit over seven shutout innings, Bryce Harper’s fourth homer of the postseason turned out to be the decisive blow Tuesday night as the visiting Philadelphia Phillies’ defeated the San Diego Padres 2-0 in the opener of the National League Championship Series.

Then Kyle Schwarber made some home run history against Padres starter Yu Darvish.

Philadelphia relievers Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado each threw a hitless inning to complete a one-hitter in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

Mr. Schwarber’s first home run of the postseason came on the first pitch Yu Darvish threw in the top of the sixth and travelled 488 feet after leaving the bat at 119.7 mph. The blast, off a cutter from Mr. Darvish, was the first ever to reach the second deck in right since Petco Park opened in 2004.

The velocity of Mr. Schwarber’s home run was the fifth-highest since the pitch-tracking era began in 2008 and the hardest-hit in a postseason game. It was also the farthest homer ever hit at Petco Park and the longest of Mr. Schwarber’s career.

“I wasn’t sure mine was out,” Harper said after the game. “That one was just enough. But Kyle’s, that was a bomb.”

Mr. Schwarber said, “Sometimes you can tell. I knew.”

It was the sixth homer allowed by Mr. Darvish in the postseason, accounting for all six runs he has allowed. Mr. Darvish (2-1) gave up two runs on three hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wheeler (1-1) allowed only two Padres to reach base. Juan Soto drew a one-out walk in the first, and Wil Myers hit a one-out, line-drive single to center in the fifth. Wheeler allowed one hit and one walk while striking out eight. He threw 83 pitches (59 strikes).

“The plan was for Zack to go six or seven tonight,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We talked after the sixth before he went out for one more. I had confidence in the guys behind him.”

Mr. Dominguez struck out two in a perfect eighth. Mr. Alvarado got the save with a scoreless ninth, although he had to survive the lone Padres threat of the night.

Jurickson Profar drew a one-out walk and was safe at second when Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm threw wide of second on a possible game-ending, double-play grounder by Soto. Mr. Alvarado retired Manny Machado on a fly to right then struck out Josh Bell to end the game.

Mr. Darvish had struck out six of the previous eight batters when Harper came to the plate with one out in the fourth.

After taking a ball, Mr. Harper went the other way with an outside fastball, depositing it into the third row of seats in left just beyond the leap of Padres left fielder Mr. Profar. The homer was the fourth by Mr. Harper this postseason. — Reuters

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