Bryce Harper Has Historic Night, Stephen Strasburg Ks 13 in Nats' Rout of Sox
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Bryce Harper wasted no time taking part in the rally in the next half-inning that allowed the Nationals to take a 3-2 lead, a lead that they would never give back.
After a Danny Espinosa walk, Harper doubled to set up Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third. Zimmerman delivered with a single that plated Espinosa. Harper and Zimmerman would later score on an Ian Desmond double, giving the Nats the 3-2 lead.
In the next inning, Harper did it again when he smashed a two-run home run to right-center field, next to the 420-foot marker. It was an historic home run, as Harper became only the fourth visiting teenager to ever hit a home run at Fenway Park, joining Hall of Famers Robin Yount, Mickey Mantle and Al Kaline.
Harper also finished the night with three hits, joining only Ken Griffey, Jr., and Kaline as the only visiting teenagers to have three hits at Fenway in the last 72 years, according to ESPN.com.
The closest the Red Sox came to getting back in the game was in the sixth inning. Strasburg started the inning with another strikeout but then allowed Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez to reach base with hits. David Ortiz then walked to load the bases. That is when Strasburg showed everyone why he is one the best pitchers in baseball.
Strasburg mowed down Jarrod Saltalamacchia and then got Kevin Youkilis on a borderline pitch to end the inning. He froze Youkilis and it led to Youkilis being ejected.
That was all for Strasburg on the night, and when everything settled his final line read 13 strikeouts in six innings. He allowed four hits and two earned runs while throwing a career-high 119 pitches.
The Nationals went into Fenway Park, won 7-4 and showed why they are one of the best teams in baseball. Strasburg's dominance and Harper's explosive bat can lead them a long way this season.
Furthermore, the win proved that they are able to contend with any team, whether a National League foe or a talented AL East team.
Strasburg is now 7-1 with a 2.41 ERA, while Harper raised his batting average to .288 with his three hits in five at-bats.
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