Suárez uneven in return, Phillies top Rockies 7-4 as Feltner exits after liner to head
DENVER (AP) — Ranger Suárez labored through four innings in his return from injury, Bryce Harper hit a two-run home run and the Philadelphia Phillies beat Colorado 7-4 on Saturday night in a game that saw Rockies starter Ryan Feltner struck in the head with a line drive.
On the mound for the Phillies for the first time since throwing five scoreless innings in Game 3 of last season’s World Series, Suárez gave up three runs and seven hits, including five doubles, while throwing 72 pitches.
“It was not Ranger-esque, but just happy to have him back,” Harper said.
Harper hit his second homer since returning from Tommy John surgery, a 439-foot shot to right off Pierce Johnson in the ninth as Philadelphia won a season-best fifth straight.
“No doubt when you rejoin a team you want to keep that momentum going,” Suárez said through a translator.
Feltner (2-3) took Nick Castellanos’ 92.7 mph liner off the back right portion of his head with two outs in the second inning and immediately collapsed on the mound. He didn’t appear to lose consciousness and was able to walk to the dugout with the assistance of two staff members.
Manager Bud Black said Feltner would spend the night at a hospital under observation.
“A lot of remorse, concern, worry,” said an emotional Castellanos.
Connor Brogdon relieved Suárez (2-0) and threw two scoreless innings. Jeff Hoffman struck out Alan Trejo with the tying run on third to end the eighth, and Gregory Soto worked a perfect ninth for his first save.
Suárez, coming off his best season that included a 1.23 ERA in five postseason appearances, had been sidelined with an elbow strain. The left-hander was hurt in March pitching for Venezuela in an exhibition game ahead of the World Baseball Classic.
Suárez struggled to command his pitches. He walked one and struck out four, allowing RBI doubles to C.J. Cron and Ryan McMahon in the third.
Suárez was staked to a 4-0 lead before throwing a pitch. After Bryson Stott grounded out, Feltner walked four of the next six batters, in between Castellanos’ RBI single and Alec Bohm’s two-run single. Philadelphia batted around in Feltner’s 40-pitch, 19-strike first inning.
Feltner, who walked six in 3 1/3 innings in his previous start, gave up a two-out double to Harper in the second before Castellanos’ liner brought a hush to the crowd.
Peter Lambert took over and threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. McMahon and Jurickson Profar each had two doubles for the Rockies, who were concerned about Feltner.
“We’ll know in the morning,” Black said.
HARPER AT FIRST
While Harper has only been the DH since returning, he’s set to increase his throwing from 75 feet to 90 on Sunday. And Harper continues to take grounders at first base, where he’ll likely play before returning to right field.
“We’ve still got a lot of time before his throwing progression has gotten to the point where he can play in games,” manager Rob Thomson said. “I think by the time we get there, he’ll be ready to go and play (at first).”
Phillies: C J.T. Realmuto sat out after spraining his right pinky on Friday. But he was available in an emergency and should return Sunday.
Rockies: RHP Dinelson Lamet, placed on the injured list May 4 with a sore back after struggling with walks and a 12.66 ERA, threw a two-inning, 35-pitch simulated game. “Once he gets back to pitching, it’s more about confidence and some delivery things,” manager Bud Black said.
The Phillies opened a spot for Suárez by optioning RHP Luis Ortiz to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … The Rockies added RHP Chase Anderson to the roster a day after claiming him off waivers from Tampa Bay. RHP Antonio Senzatela (sprained UCL) went on the 15-day IL.
Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (3-2, 4.44 ERA) faces LHP Kyle Freeland (3-4, 3.57) on Sunday to close the series.
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