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Hot Harper carries Phillies into NL East title contention

The Phillies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2021, file photo, Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper cheers with fans before a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Philadelphia. The Phillies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Harper has slugged the Phillies into contention since the All-Star break and has them facing a make-or-break series in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

PHILADELPHIA — Bryce Harper has carried the Philadelphia Phillies into the NL East race. 

The Phillies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. 

Harper has slugged them into contention since the All-Star break and has them facing a make-or-break series in Atlanta. 

The Braves are in control of the NL East when they open a three-game series with the Phillies on Tuesday. 

Atlanta leads the division by 2 1/2 games and its magic number to clinch is five. 

The Phillies will likely have to sweep the series to have a shot at the division.

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