DENVER (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper was ejected for charging Colorado’s dugout, and Kyle Freeland dominated for six innings on his 30th birthday in the Rockies’ 4-0 win Sunday.
Harper appeared to respond to Colorado reliever Jake Bird, who clapped a hand against his glove and said something toward the Philadelphia dugout after the last out of the top of the seventh.
“I get emotional,” Harper said. “I understand getting fired up for an inning and stuff like that, but once you make it about a team or make it about yourself and the other team, that’s when I’ve kind of got a problem with it.”
Harper was initially restrained by Rockies catcher Elias Díaz, then Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan prevented the two-time NL MVP from entering a group of players and coaches gathered near the first-base line.
“It could be,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said when asked whether Harper’s reaction was the result of mounting frustration. “But a guy yelling in your dugout? That shouldn’t happen. Flat out, that shouldn’t happen.”
Harper returned to the NL champion Phillies on May 2 after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Bird, who said his comments weren’t directed at anyone in particular, also was ejected.
“I get a little emotional on the mound sometimes,” Bird said. “It’s a good team. It was a big moment. I got a little emotional out there. They took exception to it.”
Thomson had been thrown out the previous inning after arguing with plate umpire Ryan Wills over a called third strike on Kyle Schwarber. Philadelphia’s season-high five-game winning streak was stopped.
Rockies shut out Phillies
Colorado has won nine of 13 following an 8-20 start.
Freeland (4-4) allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked just one. After posting a 5.27 ERA in April, the Denver native has allowed just three earned runs n 18 innings over his past three starts.
“You don’t want to get swept,” Freeland said. “You want to salvage a series as much as you can. I wouldn’t say it’s a must-win, but it’s one of those things to right the ship and get back on track to that winning. It starts with pitching. Obviously, I had a very good start today.”
Justin Lawrence struck out Bryson Stott, ending the game with runners on first and second.
Aaron Nola (3-3) gave up four runs and six hits in seven innings.
Philadelphia was shut out for the fourth time, while the Rockies pitched their fourth shutout.
Colorado scored twice in the first inning when C.J. Cron hit an RBI grounder to shortstop Trea Turner, who threw past first base while trying for a double play, an error that allowed a second run to score.
Doyle’s 413-foot solo shot to left field in the fifth inning was his second career home run. Sunday’s game was the 15th of the 25-year-old outfielder’s career.
“The pitching is definitely a lot better up here,” Doyle said. “There’s no getting around that, but I’m just trying to make my swing as efficient as possible, being able to see the ball longer. That’s the biggest thing I’m working on right now. It’s been showing.”
Kris Bryant added an RBI single later in the inning.
Charlie Blackmon had two hits and two runs for the Rockies while improving his career average against Nola to .407. The Colorado designated hitter has reached base safely in 29 of his 34 games this season.
Cron possibly out with injury
Cron left in the third inning with back spasms after he was tended to by athletic trainers along the first-base line following an inning-ending popup. He was replaced by Mike Moustakas. “C.J. looks like he’s probably heading to the injured list,” manager Bud Black said.