LEADING OFF: Harper gets steamed, Trout reaches milestone

MLB

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

HOT HARPER

Bryce Harper could be cooled off, a day after he was ejected during Philadelphia’s game against the Mets at Citi Field. The slumping slugger went wild, arguing with first base umpire Roberto Ortiz over a fair-foul call.

Phillies second baseman Neil Walker tried to restrain Harper, who then got in Ortiz’s face and began yelling at the 35-year-old ump — an apparent violation of Major League Baseball’s safety protocols during this pandemic-shortened season. Walker and first base coach Paco Figueroa tried to hold Harper back, and manager Joe Girardi also came out to help usher the star off the field.

Harper might have been frustrated by a miscue an inning earlier. He didn’t call for a popup that became a sacrifice fly when Walker caught the ball in shallow right.

Harper is just 7 for 47 (.149) in his last 15 games, dropping his batting average from .367 down to .271.

TROUT’S TREY

Angels star Mike Trout became the team’s career home run leader when he hit No. 300 Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader against Houston. The three-time AL MVP broke a tie with Tim Salmon for the franchise record.

Trout leads the majors with 15 home runs and has connected five times in eight games.

ACE OFF

Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (4-2, 2.46) opposes two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom (2-1, 1.76) in a rare showdown between the NL East aces. The pair have only shared the mound once, a 2018 game in which deGrom was pulled after one inning in a return from injury. DeGrom (18.9 Wins Above Replacement) and Nola (16.2) ranked first and second among all starting pitchers in WAR since the start of 2018, per Baseball Reference.

A BIG FAN

A’s star Matt Chapman has struck out in eight of nine at-bats since Oakland had four games postponed because of pitcher Daniel Mengden’s positive coronavirus test.

Chapman fanned all five times he came up Saturday in an 8-4 win over San Diego. He’ll try to get back in the swing when the Athletics face Garrett Richards (1-2, 4.63 ERA) at the Coliseum.

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