Photo credit: Nathan Seebeck \ USA Today Sports
Kyle Schwarber spoke about his blue-collar roots at his introductory press conference last month, making an effort to build a connection with the Philadelphia fanbase. He made another connection on Friday, but this time with his bat. 

Schwarber drilled a leadoff homer to set the tone as the Phillies secured a 9-5 win over Oakland in the season opener at Citizens Bank Park. 

"What a way to introduce yourself," said Rhys Hoskins with a smile.

The newly acquired outfielder finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with the homer, a walk, two RBIs, and two runs scored. He also was the catalyst for a four-run third inning, working a one-out walk before crossing the plate on a Bryce Harper double later in the frame. Hoskins drove in a pair of runs later in the inning, and Didi Gregorius followed with an RBI single. 

Aaron Nola looked fantastic through six innings, his lone blemish being a solo homer in the fourth, but things fell apart in the sixth. Sean Murphy opened the frame with a double down the leftfield line while Chad Pinder followed with a single. Seth Brown then worked an eight-pitch at-bat before hitting a Nola breaking ball for a three-run blast to bring the Athletics to within two. 

A pair of errors later in the seventh allowed the Athletics to push another run across, but Brad Hand was able to limit the damage. 

The long ball was a significant issue for Nola last season, and that trend continued through Spring Training, where he surrendered six over 14 1/3 innings. 

Schwarber crushed a 3-2 sinker into the seats in right-center field to open the contest. The ball had an exit velocity of 106.9mph and sent an already raucous sellout crowd into an even bigger frenzy. He obliged a curtain call request, letting out a yell while pumping his fists with excitement. 

"That was really cool," Schwarber said. "Couldn't write it any better for myself, but it was a great team win. We had a good start, faced some adversity, and then came on strong. That's what it's supposed to look like, going out there with a full team effort."

Making his Major League debut, Bryson Stott collected a pair of hits, including an RBI double in the eighth. 

Eight of the nine starters in the Phillies' lineup recorded at least one hit. Matt Vierling, the lone player without a hit, contributed a sacrifice-fly in the sixth. 

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