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Phillies' Harper ejected after striking out in first inning against Rockies

Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper - The Canadian Press

DENVER (AP) — Philadelphia star Bryce Harper was ejected after striking out in the first inning of the Phillies' 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.

Harper struck out on a 0-2 curveball from Ty Blach, dropped his bat and threw his helmet. The two-time NL MVP said something to plate umpire Brian Walsh and immediately was ejected.

Harper and Phillies manager Rob Thomson argued to no avail following Harper's 21st big league ejection. Harper had called a timeout after taking a borderline 0-1 sinker that appeared to be low and inside.

“I wasn’t really that upset,” Harper said. “Obviously, I spiked my helmet, but that was a frustration from the call. And then I just kind of asked him, ‘Hey, wait, that was a strike, but where do you have it?’ I just wanted to have a conversation with you.

“Again, didn’t cuss and scream or anything really big. That’s kind of it. I’m not trying to get thrown out of the first inning in Colorado, obviously. So it’s a bummer, man. I could have doubled in the gap or homered, and the game’s changed, right?”

Harper is hitting .279 with 12 homers, 37 RBIs and a .929 OPS.

“What led to the ejection was that Bryce Harper was clearly upset about the pitches,” crew chief Vic Carapazza told a pool reporter. “Brian gave him a long leash. He kept him in the game, and Bryce just kept arguing balls and strikes. At the end of the day, equipment violation is basically a big warning. and if you continue to talk about pitches, then Brian had to handle it.”

Third baseman Alec Bohm moved to first in place of Harper, left fielder Whit Merrifield switched to third and Johan Rojas entered in center and Cristian Pache moved from center to left.