Nationals’ Bryce Harper swats MLB-leading 6th home run

Nationals' Bryce Harper swats MLB-leading 6th home run

April 9 (UPI) — Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper continued his tear, hitting home run No. 6 on the season off of New York Mets starter Matt Harvey.

Harper now leads Major League Baseball in long balls. His latest shot came in the first inning of the Nationals’ 6-5 loss Sunday at Nationals Park.

The five-time All-Star walked up to the plate in the bottom of the opening frame after Nationals starter Tanner Roark held the Mets scoreless to open the game.

Anthony Rendon stood on first base after singling off of Harvey in the Nationals’ second at-bat of the National League East contest.

Harvey tossed in a ball, before Harper fouled off a 94-mph four-seam fastball. Harvey’s next pitch was a 93-mph four-seam fastball.

Harper kept that one straight, swinging the lumber and smacking the ball over the fence in right field for a 368-foot two-run home run.

The homer left the stadium at 102-mph, according to Statcast.

“I don’t care who’s on the mound,” Harper told reporters after the game. “Just trying to go out there, have good at-bats, see pitches over the plate and drive the ball.”

Harper had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBIs and two walks. He did not strikeout.

Harvey allowed four earned runs and nine hits, while striking out two batters in five innings.

Brian Dozier, Matt Davidson and Charlie Blackmon are tied for second in the MLB home run chase with four bombs apiece.

Harper is hitting .357 through nine games. The Nationals battle the Atlanta Braves at 7:05 p.m. Monday at Nationals Park.