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Harper homers in first game back from paternity leave (again!)

Harper homers in first game back from paternity leave (again!) originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

CINCINNATI — Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies lineup in Thursday’s 5-0 win over the Reds and picked up right where he left off before missing three games while on paternity leave.

In fact, he celebrated the birth of his third child, and second daughter, with a 2-run homer in the third off Reds starter Nick Martini at Great American Ball Park and later singled and walked.

But Harper has the innate ability to add a dramatic twist, and this was no exception. It turns out that he also homered in his first game back from paternity leave in August, 2019 when son Krew was born. Daughter Brooklyn can’t feel slighted, though. She was born in the offseason.

“I just love the moment, right?” Harper said. “Any time you can give me a moment, I’ll take it.”

Added bonus: He was able to get the ball back, same as he did when Krew was born. “That was awesome. I’m really excited,” he said. He reported that wife Kayla and the baby are doing fine.

Harper came back sitting on a 6-game hitting streak during which he was hitting .361 with seven RBI and a 1.033 OPS. The layoff didn’t appear to affect him.

“Any time you face big league pitching it’s going to be tough. But I felt good.”

Harper flew into Cincinnati Wednesday night and came to the stadium where he worked out and got treatment.

“Wild,” said manager Rob Thomson. “Daddy Power.”

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