PHILADELPHIA — Jay Bruce is happier about playing in front of big crowds than a hitter-friendly ballpark.
Bruce hit a two-run homer, Zach Eflin threw 6 1/3 sharp innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 Friday night.
Bruce already has four homers in four games with the NL East-leading Phillies after hitting 14 for Seattle before he was acquired in a trade last week. He’s the first Phillies player who debuted with the team in the modern era to hit four home runs in his first four games with the team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“I’m excited to play in front of people, a lot of them,” Bruce said. “Not to take away from any other situations I’ve been in, this place is different. I’m excited.”
Joey Votto hit a solo shot for the Reds, who have dropped four of five.
Eflin (6-5) gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits. An injury-depleted bullpen missing seven relievers got eight outs, with Hector Neris finishing for his 13th save in 13 tries.
Reds starter Tyler Mahle (2-6) cruised through the first four innings. But J.T. Realmuto led off the fifth with a single and Bruce followed with an opposite-field shot to left-center to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
“He’s as good as I’ve seen him,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Bruce. “We’re lucky to have him right now.”
n Braves 7, Marlins 1
MIAMI — Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a score-settling homer off Jose Ureña, and Atlanta rode starter Mike Soroka to a win over Miami.
Ureña was suspended for six games for intentionally hitting Acuña on the arm with a pitch last August, triggering a melee. That may explain why Acuña showboated a bit when he homered in the fourth.
It was Acuña’s 13th homer. He also had a one-hop RBI single off the fence against Ureña in the second, and a run-scoring single off Wei-Yin Chen in the fifth.
Soroka (7-1) pitched one-run ball into the ninth inning. He gave up three hits, struck out six and won his seventh consecutive decision. He retired 10 in a row before allowing a leadoff walk — his second — in the ninth and then departed. Dan Winkler got the final three outs to complete a five-hitter.
Freddie Freeman hit his 17th home run and contributed three RBIs, and Ozzie Albies added three hits.
Ureña (4-7) gave up 11 hits and six runs in three-plus innings, his shortest outing this year.
n Rockies 5, Mets 1
NEW YORK — Ian Desmond got plunked in the back by a pitch from New York rookie Drew Gagnon immediately after two colossal Colorado homers, leading to a bench-clearing scrum late in the Rockies’ victory.
The bullpens emptied and players from both sides milled together during two separate dustups, but there did not appear to be any serious pushing or shoving and no punches were thrown.
Antonio Senzatela (5-4) outpitched Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, and Colorado got homers from David Dahl and Daniel Murphy in a three-run eighth inning. That made it 5-1, and the Rockies went on to their 10th win in 12 games. Senzatela gave up one run and four hits in six innings without a strikeout. Rockies closer Wade Davis, just off the injured list, worked a scoreless ninth.
Two batters before Murphy connected, Dahl hit a titanic two-run homer off Gagnon deep into the second deck in right to make it 4-1.
Michael Conforto homered for the Mets, and deGrom (3-6) allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. He struck out 10.
n Cubs 3, Cardinals 1
CHICAGO — Cole Hamels threw eight innings of three-hit shutout ball, Javier Báez hit a two-run homer, and Chicago topped St. Louis.
The Cubs have won four of five since being swept in a three-game series at St. Louis last weekend.
Before starting up at Wrigley Field, the Cubs finalized a three-year contract with Craig Kimbrel that guarantees the closer $43 million.
Hamels (5-2) struck out a season-high 10 and walked one. Harrison Bader, who doubled in the second, was the only Cardinal to reach second base off the left-hander.
Hamels struck out the side in the eighth to finish strong. Pedro Strop gave up a home run in the ninth to Paul DeJong before finishing for his sixth save in eight chances.
Báez’s 16th homer was his third in five games. Victor Caratini had two hits, including an RBI double.
n Indians 5, Yankees 2
CLEVELAND — Carlos Santana’s two-run homer in the sixth inning helped rookie Zach Plesac get his first major league win and sent Cleveland past New York.
Santana broke a 2-all tie by connecting on a change-up from Domingo Germán (9-2), trying to become baseball’s first 10-game winner.
Making just his third start, Plesac (1-1) settled down after a few anxious innings and stifled the AL East’s top team. The Yankees managed just six hits — and only two after the third — in seven innings against the right-hander and nephew of former major leaguer Dan Plesac.
Nick Wittgren worked a perfect eighth, and Brad Hand struck out the side in the ninth for his 19th save in 19 tries.
The Yankees welcomed back shortstop Didi Gregorius, who got two hits playing for the first time since Game 4 of last year’s AL Division series against Boston when he injured his elbow making a throw. He underwent Tommy John surgery.
n Rays 5, Red Sox 1
BOSTON — Yonny Chirinos pitched two-hit ball for eight scoreless innings, and Tampa Bay stopped Boston’s four-game winning streak.
Kevin Kiermaier homered and drove in four runs, and Ji-Man Choi also homered for the Rays, who didn’t need much offense to front Chirinos in the longest outing of his career.
Chirinos (7-2) had never gone more than 7 1/3 innings before stifling the Red Sox. He cruised through the first five innings on just 50 pitches and didn’t allow a baserunner or hit until the sixth.
Chirinos struck out six and walked two before Emilio Pagan took over in the ninth. Boston broke up the shutout with doubles by Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts.
n Twins 6, Tigers 3
DETROIT — Mitch Garver homered and had three hits, Marwin Gonzalez matched his career high with four hits, and Minnesota defeated Detroit.
C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz also homered for Minnesota, which is 6-1 against the Tigers this season.
Ryne Harper (1-0) got his first career win after striking out the side in the seventh inning. Blake Parker pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
Joe Jimenez (2-4) took the loss, allowing two runs in the eighth inning.
n Astros 4, Orioles 3
HOUSTON — Robinson Chirinos hit an RBI double with two outs in the 11th inning to lift Houston by Baltimore.
Yuli Gurriel singled with one out in the 11th before Chirinos hit a line drive to left field off Branden Kline (1-3), sending Gurriel home. The throw to the plate beat Gurriel, but catcher Chance Sisco bobbled it, allowing Gurriel to score.
The play was reviewed, but stood.
n Diamondbacks 8,
Blue Jays 2
TORONTO — Kevin Cron hit his first major league home run, David Peralta had a solo shot among his three hits, and Arizona topped Toronto.
Merrill Kelly (6-6) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings for his second straight victory, and the Diamondbacks used a five-run fourth inning to win for the fourth time in six games.
Archie Bradley worked the eighth, and T.J. McFarland finished.
Arizona catcher Carson Kelly hit a solo home run in the ninth, his sixth of the season.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (3-8) gave up eight hits and matched his season-worst by allowing six runs in 5 2/3 innings, losing his second straight outing.
Toronto’s Teoscar Hernández got the Blue Jays on the board with a two-out homer in the fifth, his fourth.