PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Schwarber homered in his first at-bat with the Phillies, reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper knocked in a run and Aaron Nola struck out seven to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 9-5 win over the Oakland Athletics on Friday.

Schwarber’s first opening day in Philadelphia was one to remember for the 29-year-old slugger. Fresh off the $79 million, four-year contract he signed last month, Schwarber crushed a 427-foot homer to right off A’s starter Frankie Montas (0-1) on just his seventh pitch of the game. Schwarber took an energetic run around the bases for his 14th career leadoff homer. The sellout crowd of 44,232 went wild and Schwarber thrust his helmet in the air for a rousing curtain call.

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The fun was just getting started in Philly.

Schwarber’s one-out walk in the third inning ignited a four-run burst. Harper heard rousing “MVP! MVP!” chants that followed him from opening day introductions to his last at-bat. He showed why he earned that award last season with a hit to left that he stretched into a double. He was called out on the throw but stayed on second base as the play was reviewed. The crowd howled in delight with each replay on the big screen that showed Harper slid safely under the tag of second baseman Tony Kemp. The play was overturned and Harper scored on Hoskins’ two-RBI single. Didi Gregorius’ single up the middle made it 5-0.

That’s the kind of inning the Phillies had in mind when they beefed up the offense to try to snap a postseason drought that dates to 2011. The Phillies spent $179 million on Nick Castellanos and Schwarber after Harper pushed the front office to improve the team following an 82-80 finish last season. Schwarber, who added an RBI single in the eighth for a 9-5 lead, won a World Series with the Chicago Cubs and has played in the postseason in six of his seven seasons in the majors.

Nola, the 2018 All-Star who went 9-9 with a 4.63 ERA last season, made his fifth straight opening day start. Chad Pinder hit a solo homer in the fourth. Seth Brown’s three-run shot in the seventh chased Nola (1-0). The A’s made it 6-5 but Brad Hand struck out Jed Lowrie looking with runners on second and third to end the seventh.

Castellanos added an RBI double in the seventh for a 7-5 lead.


The Phillies put OF Mickey Moniak on the 10-day IL with a broken right hand. He was injured Wednesday in his last at-bat of spring training and could miss up to six weeks.


The Phillie Phanatic parachuted his way onto the field before the first pitch for the first time since 1993.

The Phillies in the offseason settled a legal dispute with the Phanatic’s creator that allowed baseball’s most beloved native of the Galapagos Islands to return to his natural green, furry, bulbous-belly state.

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The Phanatic wasn’t the only part of the Phillies that needed a facelift. The home run Liberty Bell had been on the fritz the last few seasons but was repaired in time for opening day. Phillies executive vice president David Buck said 26,000 LED lights were added to the bell and a new hydraulic system was installed to make the bell sway when the Phillies go deep.


Several Phillies wore T-shirts with a quote from Castellanos at his news conference after he signed with the team:

“I don’t have a college degree, I hit baseballs.”


Bryson Stott made his major league debut for the Phillies as the starting third baseman. Stott, the 14th overall pick in the 2019 amateur draft, singled in the sixth for his first hit. His first career double and RBI in the eighth made it 8-5. He dedicated his call-up to — and wears No. 5 in honor of — his childhood best friend, who died six years ago of cancer. Stott called Cooper Ricciardi’s mother on Thursday and said she was in tears over the news.


It was a loss in his debut for first-year Oakland manager Mark Kotsay. Kotsay was promoted from third base coach to manager and replaced Bob Melvin. Kotsay said his first big league game over a 17-year career was in Philadelphia in 1998.


Oakland sends LHP Cole Irvin to the mound against Phillies RHP Kyle Gibson in the second game of an all-afternoon three-game series.

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