On Saturday, the Phillies' offense showed it wasn't a one-game wonder.

The bats produced three home runs after also having three in Thursday's season-opening victory over the Braves and scored eight times in an 8-6 win at Citizens Bank Park.

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They're driving the ball and continuing to do it from all over the new-and-improved lineup. For those keeping score at home, that's 18 runs and 16 hits in two outings.

They've scored runs in nine of the 16 innings they come to bat, with five of them multiple-run innings. And six homers through two games is a franchise record.

The anticipation of the crowd when the Phillies come to the plate is palpable.

"I think the offense definitely created electricity in the ballpark tonight," said manager Gabe Kapler afterward. "I think the offense created electricity on opening day. I think that that's going to be the defining characteristic of our team — an offense that's relentless and gets big hits, scores a lot of runs, is patient and wears opposing pitchers down."

Through two games, they've received big hits from all eight regular spots. Prized free agent Bryce Harper joined in the fun with a no-doubt-about-it solo homer to right-center from the No. 3 hole in the seventh inning.

Harper, who used outfielder Nick Williams' bat on the home run, exulted when he came out for his curtain call in front of the Phillies' dugout.

"I thought that was a pretty special moment," Kapler said. "His bat speed is just lightning. The bigger the spotlight, the bigger the moment, the more Bryce shines."

Harper called it "definitely one of the cooler homers I've ever hit."

"Just the fan base, the stadium, electricity we had in this place," he said. "It all came together."

Asked what he yelled out, Harper replied, "I said 'let's go' with something else in between" and then laughed.

Maikel Franco blasted a two-run home run in the fourth inning Saturday. He has two in the first two games of the season.
Maikel Franco blasted a two-run home run in the fourth inning Saturday. He has two in the first two games of the season. (Matt Slocum / AP)

No. 8 batter Maikel Franco had his second home run, walloping a two-run shot down the left-field line in the fourth inning after center fielder Odubel Herrera had walked and second baseman Cesar Hernandez tripled. He had a three-run blast in the 10-4 opening victory.

Franco was batting over .309 in limited time at No. 8 heading into this season. He is 3 for 6 with two homers and six RBIs after two games.

"I continue to think where he is in the lineup is a really good spot for him," Kapler said. "I think he has very little pressure on him there."

Catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was another key off-season instrumental acquisition, smacked the go-ahead homer to left-center field in the fifth inning after first baseman Rhys Hoskins had walked.

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"The Realmuto homer, the [Franco] homer, the Rhys homer the other day - this place is electrifying," Harper said.

J.T. Realmuto blasted a two-run homer of his own and finished with 3 RBIs on the day.
J.T. Realmuto blasted a two-run homer of his own and finished with 3 RBIs on the day. (Matt Slocum / AP)

It's a good thing the Phillies are hitting because the starting pitching remains a bit of a question mark.

Right-hander Nick Pivetta, who Kapler said got the Game 2 start in large part because he wants veteran Jake Arrieta to handle Sunday night's nationally televised contest, struggled from the outset, allowing eight hits and all four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Kapler was going to pinch-hit for Pivetta in the bottom of the fourth, but changed his mind after Franco's homer right before Pivetta's turn. Pivetta couldn't make it through the fifth.

"I didn't have my best fastball," Pivetta said. "I didn't have my best command, but the team was able to pick me up. It's definitely a different feeling [scoring all those runs], but it's an awesome feeling. You don't have to be perfect every single day."

After Arrieta on Sunday, Zach Eflin will start Tuesday in Harper's return to Washington. Inconsistent No. 5 starter Vince Velasquez won't be needed until April 9 due to off-days.

On the bright side, the bullpen was much more effective than in the opener, as four relievers combined to hold Atlanta hitless for 4 1/3 innings until David Robertson permitted a Charlie Culberson two-run homer in the ninth. The 'pen gave up five hits and three runs in three innings Thursday.

The defense has been solid, too, with a pair of error-free outings so far.

But if the Phillies are going to be a playoff team, the offense needs to lead the way. So far, the bats have more than held up their end of the bargain.

Harper signing here is a big reason the Phillies sold out the first two games and are expected to make it three in a row Sunday evening after only having four sellouts in 81 home dates last year.

If the Phils keep hitting, the fans are going to keep coming back — and they're going to keep winning.

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