Harper 0 for 4 in return, Urías helps Dodgers top Phils 13-1
LOS ANGELES — Bryce Harper's return to the Philadelphia Phillies lineup got off to a rough start.
The two-time NL MVP went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his return just 160 days after Tommy John surgery, and Philadelphia lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-1 on Tuesday night as Julio Urías allowed one hit and struck out 10 in seven innings.
Harper was activated from the injured list and batting third as the designated hitter.
“I was excited to be back, but not the game we wanted to have,” Harper said. “Just got to keep going and keep plugging along.”
When Harper had surgery on Nov. 23, the Phillies said he was expected to return around the All-Star break in mid-July. He was cleared to play after an appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Monday morning.
Coming back though and facing Urías in his first game was a tough task for Harper. After Tuesday's game he is 3 for 14 against the left-hander and has struck out seven times.
Harper saw breaking balls on nine of 16 pitches in his four at-bats.
“I feel like my time is pretty good. It’s just pitch selection right now,” Harper said.
Urías threw seven slurves out his 13 pitches in three at-bats to Harper and said his plan was to mix his selection.
“He’s very hungry after missing all that time. I knew he was going to come and be aggressive,” Urías said.
Miguel Vargas had four hits as the Dodgers scored 13 runs for the second straight night and set a season high with 17 hits.
Urías had sixth double-digit strikeout game of his big league career as he mostly silenced a Phillies' offense that entered third in the majors with a .271 batting average. The only hit the left-hander allowed was a home run to Trea Turner to lead off the fourth inning. Turner was with the Dodgers for 1 1/2 seasons before signing with Philadelphia during the offseason.
The dominant outing also snapped a three-game losing streak for Urías (4-3). He won his first three starts before dropping his next three, including allowing six runs in his last outing on April 27 at Pittsburgh.
“I was very consistent today. Getting the first-pitch strike was important,” Urías said. “There are a couple things I picked up during bullpen sessions. I felt way more consistent in my mechanics.”
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said he was pleased with Harper's bat speed and his approach on the at-bats.
“I thought he was on a lot of pitches. There’s going to be some timing stuff and recognizing breaking balls and things like that," Thomson said. "I thought he was good, he said he felt good.”
It is but you have to fight through it and that’s what he is planning on doing. It shouldn’t take long before he gets up to speed.
Vargas and Mookie Betts both drove in three runs, and Freddie Freeman had a two-run homer in the eighth.
“I thought Urías was in attack mood. He carried it all the way through seven innings,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We're playing good baseball on both sides. Guys up and down the lineup took some good at-bats.”
Betts had three hits and is 9 for 21 over the past five games. His two-run single on a full count off Matt Strahm (2-3) in the second inning just got under the glove of Phillies second baseman Bryson Stott and extended the Dodgers' lead to 3-0. Betts then lined an RBI base hit to center in the fourth to make it 4-1.
Los Angeles broke it open with four runs in the seventh inning. Chris Taylor doubled to left field with the bases loaded to drive in a pair and Vargas added a two-run double later in the frame.
The Dodgers added five in the eighth. Besides Freeman's homer, James Outman, Vargas and Miguel Rojas drove in runs on base hits.
Phillies: LHP Ranger Suárez (left forearm) threw two scoreless innings in a rain-shortened rehab appearance for Triple A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. Suárez did some throwing in the bullpen and threw 54 pitches total. He is expected to make two more rehab appearances. ... RHP Nick Nelson (strained left hamstring) gave up one unearned run in five innings in a rehab start for Double-A Reading.
Dodgers: The earliest DH J.D. Martinez (lower back tightness) is expected to be back is Monday, when Los Angeles opens a three-game series at Milwaukee.
Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (2-2, 4.46 ERA) takes a 2-0 record against the Dodgers. RHP Gavin Stone will make his major-league debut for Los Angeles