May 15 (UPI) — Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies players spilled out of their dugouts and met in a series of shoves after pitcher Jake Bird clapped his glove at Bryce Harper.
The skirmish occurred in the seventh inning of the Rockies’ 4-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday at Coors Field in Denver. Harper went 0 for 3 in the loss. He said he got “emotional,” but blamed Bird for triggering the benches-clearing incident.
“I understand getting fired up for an inning and stuff like that,” Harper told reporters. “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.
“You guys saw my reaction. I wasn’t very happy. He kind of just did what he did and after that he kind of flew away and just like went into the dugout.”
Bird forced second baseman Bryson Stott to fly out to left field to end the top of the seventh. The right-handed pitcher then looked toward the Phillies’ dugout and clapped on his glove as he walked off the field.
Harper ran out of the dugout, but was held back by teammates near home plate. He shoved Rockies catcher Elias Diaz a few times before other players and coaches congregated in front of the Rockies’ dugout.
Home plate umpire Ryan Wills ejected Harper and Bird.
Bird issued two walks, but did not allow a hit or a run in one inning of work. Rockies starter Kyle Freeland allowed four hits over six shutout innings to improve to 4-4 this season.
Rockies center fielder Brenton Doyle went 1 for 3 with a home run in the victory. Right fielder Kris Bryant and first baseman C.J. Cron drove in two more runs for the Rockies.
The Rockies (17-24) will host the Cincinnati Reds (18-22) at 8:40 p.m. EDT Monday in Denver. The Phillies (20-20) will face the San Francisco Giants (17-23) at 9:45 p.m. Monday in San Francisco.