Bryce Harper hears boos at Nationals Park. His three hits help the Phillies beat the Nats 4-0

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Philadelphia Phillies Bryce Harper gestures during his at-bat in the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Friday, April 5, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTONBryce Harper, still hearing boos at Nationals Park all these years later, doubled twice and singled in a run to back Aaron Nola's 5 2/3 scoreless innings, helping the Philadelphia Phillies beat Washington 4-0 on a chilly Friday night.

Another former player for the Nationals, Kyle Schwarber, contributed a two-run single in the second inning for the visitors, stretching his hitting streak to a half-dozen games.

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“You're obviously getting results,” Schwarber said. “I'm more happy with the consistency.”

Manager Rob Thomson praised Schwarber for being “really committed to using the entire field.”

Nola (1-1) allowed a pair of hits in the third inning and a total of four walks and otherwise was in command after allowing six earned runs in his first start of the season — so his ERA went way down, from 14.54 to 5.40.

Didn't seem to matter to him that the temperature was in the 40s.

“It was pretty brisk,” Nola said.

Washington’s batters had zero hits after the third in front of a crowd announced at 21,374.

“We didn't really get nothing going,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We've got to come out and score first.”

Harper won NL Rookie of the Year honors and the first of his two NL MVP awards while with Washington, before leaving for Philadelphia as a free agent after the 2018 season. The Nationals won the World Series the following year — and have finished in last place every year since.

Harper delivered doubles in the first and third innings, and drove in a run in the seventh with his third hit. All of those came against Patrick Corbin (0-1), who gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings.

One blip for Harper came when he got caught in a rundown between third and home and eventually was tagged out for what officially went into the books as a “caught stealing” scored 1-3-4-1-5-2-3.

The Nationals fell to 2-5, hurting themselves with nine walks issued by their pitchers, by some questionable baserunning in the third inning — CJ Abrams got thrown out at second by first baseman Harper trying to stretch a single into a double while Luis García Jr., who doubled earlier, remained at third base — and by a second throwing error in three games by rookie third baseman Trey Lipscomb.

“He had his head down,” Martinez said about Abrams on the basepaths. “He's just trying to be aggressive.”

The Phillies went into Friday ranking 21st of 30 major league clubs in batting average at .223 and 20th in OPS at .660. They had scored only 25 runs through six games, an average of 4.17; if you took away their two previous wins, they had just 11 total runs across their four losses, an average of 2.75.

Sitting in the visiting dugout before the game, Thomson dismissed the idea that the early season chill in the air — the temperature was 48 degrees at first pitch and several players wore balaclavas — might be affecting his batters.

“Sometimes that’s an excuse. And I don’t like to use excuses,” Thomson said.

“Some guys are off to a decent start. … It just hasn’t all come together yet,” he said. “But it will.”


Phillies: RHP Taijuan Walker, on the 10-day IL with a shoulder injury, is slated to throw two innings of batting practice at Nationals Park on Saturday. … RHP Orion Kerkering was scheduled to throw one-plus inning at Class A Clearwater on Friday.


The Phillies send LHP Ranger Suárez to the mound against Nationals RHP Jake Irvin. Each pitcher enters the game with a 0-0 record and 5.40 ERA.



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