WASHINGTON (AP) — NL MVP front-runner Bryce Harper and Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon got into a fight a day after Washington was eliminated from playoff contention, tangling in the dugout during the eighth inning of yesterday's 12-5 loss to last-place Philadelphia.

Harper flied out in the eighth with the score 4-all. As he returned to the home dugout, he exchanged words with Papelbon.

Papelbon then reached for Harper's throat with his left hand and shoved the outfielder back toward the bench with both arms. Teammates pulled the pair apart.

Harper immediately left the dugout and didn't return to the field. Papelbon was left in the game and gave up the go-ahead homer to the Phillies.