Bryce Harper was 3 for 3 in each of his last two Grapefruit League games and 7 for 7 overall entering play today. The second-year outfielder was 1 for 1 this afternoon and 8 for 8 overall after a two-out single on a first-pitch fastball from 22-year-old Miami Marlins' right-hander Henderson Alvarez in the top of the first. The hit left the Washington Nationals' 20-year-old left fielder 29 for 62 so far this Spring. Harper stole his fifth base in 23 games before a Ryan Zimmerman groundout ended the opening frame of the Nats and Marlins' Grapefruit League game from Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium. 23-year-old Marlins' outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who played for Team USA in the WBC, was 12 for 33 with two home runs one at bat into his 12th game with the Marlins after he took the 32-year-old Nats' right-hander Dan Haren deep to right field, all the way the other way and out near a Pepsi truck parked behind the outfield wall for a two-out home run in the home-half of the first. 1-0 Fish after one.
Henderson Alvarez, the former Blue Jays' prospect who was one of seven players acquired by the Marlins in the deal that sent Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes to Toronto this winter, retired the Nationals in order in the top of the second, striking Danny Espinosa out to end his second scoreless frame. Dan Haren retired the first two Marlins in the bottom of the second before giving up another two-out home run, this one by Fish infielder Chris Valaiaka, who put Miami up 2-0 after the second.
Bryce Harper was 2 for 2 today, 9 for his last 9 and 30 for 63 this Spring after a one-out RBI single to right in the Nationals' third. Harper's second hit off Henderson Alvarez cut the Blue Jays' lead in half. Kurt Suzuki scored from second on the Harper fly to short right after the Nats' backstop singled to start the frame and moved up on a Jayson Werth walk. 2-1 game in Jupiter. Werth went first-to-third™ on Harper's hit and then scored on a grounder to second by Ryan Zimmerman on which Chris Valaika committed an error. 2-2 game in the third. Haren retired the Marlins in order the third time around and kept it tied up at 2-2 after three.
Henderson Alvarez gave up a one-out single by Danny Espinosa but nothing else in a scoreless top of the fourth. A 3-2 fastball knee-high outside from Dan Haren got Giancarlo Stanton looking in Stanton's second at bat of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Haren retired the next two batters as well for his own scoreless fourth. Denard Span singled to start the Nationals' fifth and was replaced on the basepaths by Roger Bernadina. Bryce Harper's streak of nine-straight ABs with a hit ended with a one-out walk in his third at bat of the afternoon. An error by Greg Dobbs at first on a Ryan Zimmerman grounder allowed Bernadina to score from second while Harper took third and a wild pitch/passed ball allowed Harper to score from there and make it 4-2 Nationals after four and a half.
After retiring nine-straight going back to Chris Valaika's two-out home run in the second, Dan Haren walked Adeiny Hechavarria with two down in the Marlins' fifth, and promptly gave up a two-out, two-run home run to right by pinch hitter Chris Coghlan in the next at bat. 4-4 game after five.
Mike Dunn threw a scoreless top of the sixth for the Fish, after which Giancarlo Stanton's second home run of the game bounced off the batter's eye just to the left of center some 410-15 feet from home to give Miami the lead. 5-4 Marlins. Haren was up to 89 pitches after giving up back-to-back one-out singles to Justin Ruggiano and Rob Brantly, but he ended the sixth when he got a 5-4-3 DP off Chris Valaika's bat. 5-4 Marlins after six.
Haren's line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, 4 HRs, 91 P, 51 S.
[CHOMP!] Roger "The Shark" Bernadina was 1 for 1 with two runs scored after he homered to right off Mike Dunn in the Nationals' seventh. The Nats' 28-year-old outfielder was 1 for 8 this Spring after the blast, after having spent most of the last month playing for the Netherlands in the WBC. 5-5 game in the seventh. An E5 on new Nats' 3B Chad Tracy, who replaced Ryan Zimmerman after Zim flew out to end the top of the frame, put the leadoff runner on in the Marlins' half of the seventh. Tracy got a force at second on a grounder to third by Casey Kotchman, but Steve Lombarozzi's throw to first was high and probably late. Kotchman took second on a Juan Pierre single off Ryan Mattheus and both runners advanced on a wild pitch before they both scored on a Placido Polanco single to center. 7-5 Fish. Another run scored on a two-out double to center by Justin Ruggiano, but Bernadina made a strong throw in and the relay throw from Carlos Rivero beat Greg Dobbs home where he was tagged out by Kurt Suzuki. 8-5 Marlins.
Chad Tracy doubled to start the eighth, leaving the Nats' bench bat 12 for 44 in 13 games this Spring, but he was stranded three outs later when Jon Rauch completed a scoreless eighth. Tyler Clippard retired the Marlins in order in the bottom of the eighth. Marlins' right-hander Ryan Webb came on to close it in the top of the ninth, and surrendered a one-out single by Roger Bernadina, but two outs later the Shark was stranded and the Fish had an 8-5 win.