Harper ejected for arguing call at first base (Nats lose 3-2)

NATIONALS QUICK WRAP

Score: Cardinals 3, Nationals 2

Recap: Gio Gonzalez wrapped up his spring by going five innings, allowing three runs, only one of which was earned. Ross Detwiler, Craig Stammen and Aaron Barrett combined for three scoreless in relief and Caleb Ramsey had a two-run single in the loss.

Need to know: Gonzalez put the finishing touches on a solid spring and declared himself ready for the season. He got hit in the left arm by an Adam Wainwright curve, but said afterwards that he's fine.

On deck: Thursday, at Mets in Port St. Lucie, 12:10 p.m.

JUPITER, Fla. - A meaningless Nationals-Cardinals spring training game got a bit of life in the top of the fourth inning today, when Bryce Harper was ejected for apparently arguing a close play at first base.

Harper had a long at-bat against Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright, and rolled over on a groundball to the right side. He sprinted down the first base line and was called out by first base umpire Jeff Gosney on a bang-bang play.

As Harper turned back towards the dugout and passed Gosney, he said something, either directed in frustration at Gosney, or at himself for grounding out. Gosney apparently took it as Harper arguing the call, and immediately threw Harper out of the game.

Harper then turned back towards Gosney and started yelling, and first base coach Tony Tarrasco tried to get between the Nationals' star left fielder and the umpire.

Manager Matt Williams ran out of the dugout to give Gosney a piece of his mind, as well.

It hasn't been a strong spring for Harper statistically, as he's now batting .214, and it's possible he was just upset at himself for another unproductive at-bat. It's also possible he said something to Gosney that warranted the ejection. No way of knowing just yet.

Harper was then told by the umpires that he needed to get his stuff, leave the Nats' dugout and make his way to the visiting clubhouse, which here at Roger Dean Stadium is down the left field line. As Harper walked down the line, fans started clustering around, asking for autographs.

Don't think that'll be happening right now, folks.

A few seconds later, Williams and third base umpire CB Bucknor then started yelling at each other, and Williams again came out of the dugout to have a lively chat with an umpire.

Scott Hairston has taken over for Harper in left field, and we'll now move on from this mini incident.

There is an actual baseball game being played, by the way, and the Nats currently trail the Cards 3-0 after four innings.

Gio Gonzalez has allowed seven hits and three runs (one earned) so far. He hasn't shown his sharpest stuff, but a handful of those Cardinals hits have also been softly-hit or well-placed. It's not like Gonzalez has gotten hit all over the park this afternoon.

Nats catcher Jose Lobaton was hit by a pitch on what looked like the top of the foot in the second inning, but he's stayed in the game and apparently is fine.

Update: Gonzalez's spring is done after he went five innings today, allowing three runs, one earned on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts.

His final line this spring: 18 1/3 IP, 18 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 14 Ks.

That's good for a 2.45 ERA.

His next start will come at Citi Field on April 2 against the Mets.

Ross Detwiler came in to relieve Gonzalez and pitched a perfect sixth. Still 3-0 Cardinals.

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