PHILADELPHIA – Bryce Harper homered over the batter’s eye in center field, Aaron Nola tied his career high with 12 strikeouts while pitching into the seventh inning and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Colorado Rockies 2-1 on Saturday.
Harper also doubled for the NL East-leading Phillies.
Tony Wolters had an RBI triple for Colorado, which has lost three straight.
Nola (4-0) allowed one run on eight hits while walking one. The right-hander looked more like the pitcher who finished third in the NL Cy Young voting last season and not the one who has struggled for much of 2019 — he left with a 4.47 ERA this year.
While reaching double-digit strikeouts for the 10th time but first this season, Nola got past the fourth inning for seventh time in 10 starts.
Hector Neris retired six straight batters in the final two innings for his seventh save in as many chances.
Nola breezed through six innings and manager Gabe Kapler elected to bring him out for the seventh despite 99 pitches. Wolters led off with a triple off the wall in right and pinch-hitter Ryan McMahon doubled off the wall in right-center to pull the Rockies within 2-1 and end Nola’s day. Adam Morgan got the first out on a grounder that moved McMahon to third before Seranthony Dominguez came on and wriggled out of the inning.
McMahon ran on contact with the Phillies’ infield in on Trevor Story’s groundball to third and was thrown out at home. A single by David Dahl and walk to Nolan Arenado loaded the bases for Daniel Murphy, who grounded out weakly to short.
Harper crushed the first pitch he saw in the first inning onto Ashburn Alley, a fan walkway where only a few home runs have reached since Citizens Bank Park opened in 2004. The drive, his eighth of the season, was estimated at 466 feet.
Philadelphia went in front 2-0 in the third with the help of the Rockies. Jean Segura walked, went to third on Rhys Hoskins’ single that was booted in left by Raimel Tapia and scored on a wild pitch by Antonio Senzatela (3-3).
Senzatela gave up five hits and four walks in five innings.
Brendan Rodgers, Colorado’s top prospect playing in his second game, got his first hit with an infield single in the second. Rodgers went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Phillies: INF/OF Scott Kingery (strained right hamstring) played for Double-A Reading in a rehab outing on Saturday and is nearing a return.
The teams wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with Philadelphia RHP Jerad Eickhoff (2-2, 2.65) facing LHP Kyle Freeland (2-5, 5.68).