He extended his remarkable homer streak with a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the Nationals to an 8-6 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. ????
At 22, Harper had already become the youngest player in big league history to hit five home runs in two games. His one-out drive pushed the Nationals, a pre-season favorite to win the World Series, over .500 for the first time this year.
Harper homered three times against Miami on Wednesday and connected twice against Atlanta on Friday night.
He became the first player to hit six home runs in three games since Hee-Seop Choi did it with the Los Angeles Dodgers in June 2005.
His team-mates ripped his jersey in the home-plate scrum, then Max Scherzer punctuated the party with the team’s newest victory celebration – he poured chocolate sauce over Harper during a post-game interview.
“He’s the hottest player in the world right now,” said Atlanta reliever Cody Martin – Harper’s latest victim. “He’s putting good swings on everything, he’s seeing the ball well, his balance is good.
“You can’t really do any one thing to him that’s going to get him out. I think you just have to keep mixing it up, and that just wasn’t the right pitch there, I guess.”
The Nationals blew a five-run lead before rebounding in the ninth against Martin (1-1). Drew Storen (1-0) pitched the top of the ninth for the win.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates made history with the first 4-5-4 triple play in major league history as Joey??Mercer’s three-run double in the sixth inning rallied them to a 7-5 win over the St Louis Cardinals.
In the top of the second inning, with the game scoreless, the Cardinals had shortstop Jhonny Peralta on third base and right fielder Jason Heyward on second with no outs when catcher Yadier Molina lined out to second baseman Neil Walker.
Walker threw to rookie third baseman Jung Ho Kang to double Peralta off third base. Kang initially started walking toward the Pirates’ dugout, thinking the third out had been made, but he threw back to Walker to double Heyward off second base for the third out.