Bryce Harper greeted reliever Carlos Estevez with a two-run double in the fifth inning Friday night, propelling the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-4 victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series.
Left-hander Cole Irvin (2-0) overcame his own fielding miscues to win his second straight start, thanks in large part to the three shutout innings by three Phillies relievers.
The Phillies led 3-2 with two outs in the fifth before Andrew McCutchen drew a walk from Rockies starter Jon Gray (3-4). Jean Segura followed with a single, prompting Rockies manager Bud Black to summon the right-hander Estevez against the lefty hitting Harper.
Harper spoiled the strategy, lashing Estevez’s third pitch to deep right-center for his double, scoring the two runs and giving the Phillies a three-run lead.
Philadelphia needed every bit of it after Ian Desmond belted his fifth home run of the season off Irvin in the sixth, a two-run shot that closed the gap to 5-4.
Irvin was pulled at inning’s end. He was charged with four runs (three earned) in six innings. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out two.
Jose Alvarez, Pat Neshek and Hector Neris protected the one-run lead, with Neris picking up his sixth save after throwing a 1-2-3 ninth.
Gray allowed five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out eight.
The Rockies scored the game’s first two runs, including an unearned tally in the second when Cole made two throwing errors after fielding ground balls.
Mark Reynolds had an RBI double for the Rockies in the third inning to make it 2-0.
McCutchen got the Phillies even in the bottom of the third after Gray made the mistake of walking Irvin with two outs. The Philadelphia leadoff hitter then smacked his sixth homer of the season.
Cesar Hernandez had an RBI double in the fourth inning to give the Phillies the lead for good at 3-2.
Segura had three hits and Hernandez two for the Phillies.
The Rockies, who were coming off a two-game interleague split at Boston, totaled just five hits Friday.
—Field Level Media