(The Sports Xchange) - Right fielder Bryce Harper hit a three-run, tiebreaking home run and added a second upper-deck blast, leading the Washington Nationals to a 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday at Marlins Park.
Harper, who drove in four runs, has a career-high 29 homers this season. Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor hit a solo homer in the eighth.
“He’s got such a forceful, violent swing,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of Harper. “He’s now learning to control that even more.
“The hand-eye coordination that he has ... I remember when he first came up, a lot of people compared him to a young Mickey Mantle — that type of thunder. (Harper) is a special hitter. He’s got great power.”
Harper, 22, now has 84 career homers. Mantle, the former New York Yankees great, had exactly 84 homers at the end of the 1954 season, when he was also 22 years old. He finished with 536 homers for his career.
Wednesday’s game-winning homer, in the fifth inning, was Harper’s fourth this season off Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler. Three of those four homers were hit to the upper deck in right field, including the one Wednesday.
Harper, who entered the game leading the majors in slugging percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage, has reached base in 44 consecutive road games, the longest streak in the big leagues this season.
The win went to Washington starter Doug Fister (4-6), who allowed four hits, one walk and two runs in six innings.
Miami opened the scoring with a run in the second inning. With two outs, left fielder Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch. He scored from first on an opposite-field double by right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who got career hit No. 2,900.
Suzuki became just the eighth player in major league history to reach 2,900 hits and 500 steals, joining Ty Cobb, Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock, Barry Bonds, Honus Wagner, Paul Molitor and Eddie Collins.
Editing by Julian Linden