I think it’s fair to say that Bryce Harper has Julio Teheran’s number at this point, at least early in their respective careers. [ed. note - “Harper pwns Julio.”]
Harper entered the game 13 for 31 (.419/.500/1.000) with three doubles and five home runs in 36 plate appearances against the Braves’ right-handed starter.
Harper improved to 15 for 33 with home runs in each of his first two trips to the plate tonight in SunTrust Stadium, sending a solo shot to right on a first-pitch fastball in the first, then hitting a 1-0 slider to center field for a grand slam in the second that made it 6-2 Nationals early. The blasts Harper’s 5th and 6th home runs of 2017.
Washington’s 24-year-old, 2010 No. 1 overall pick went 4 for 4 with a walk and five runs driven in overall on the night in Atlanta.
Joe Ross went seven innings in his 2017 debut in the majors, holding the Braves to three runs on six hits in a 100-pitch effort in which he struck out seven.
Ryan Zimmerman added the Nationals’ second grand slam of the night in the eighth, 11-3, and the Nats took their second straight over the Braves, 14-4 final.
Nationals now 9-5
Here’s how it happened:
• Bryce Harper started the night 13 for 31 (.419/.500/1.000) career vs Julio Teheran, with three doubles and five home runs against the Braves’ starter.
He improved to 14 for 32 with a solo HR to right on the first pitch he saw in his two-out at bat in the first. 1-0. Harper’s 5th of 2017.
This is Bryce Harper's 6th career HR off Julio Teheran... pic.twitter.com/rdAxdqoFur— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 20, 2017
• Four of the first five Braves reached base in the bottom of the first inning, with Nick Markakis and Brandon Phillips connecting for RBI singles that put Atlanta on top, 2-1.
• The Nationals loaded the bases with no one out in the second, and Adam Eaton hit a one-out RBI single to left field to tie things back up, 2-2.
• Harper stepped in with two down and the bases still loaded and made it 15 for 33 with seven career homers vs Teheran when he hit a 1-0 slider to center for a grand slam. 6-2 Nationals.
... And this is Bryce Harper's 7th career HR off Julio Teheran. pic.twitter.com/VAZDNVXfYm— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 20, 2017
• Jayson Werth left the game after tweaking something in a one-out at bat in the third. He stepped into a 1-0 slider, but didn’t swing and walked over to talk to the trainer before exiting the game. No word on what the issue was for Werth.
• Freddie Freeman reached base in his sixth straight plate appearance in this series and his 12th straight overall when he homered in the third, taking Joe Ross deep to center on a 1-0 sinker to get the Braves within three, 6-3 D.C.
• Harper stepped in with two on (1st/3rd) and two out in the fourth and Adam Eaton, who singled his way on, scored easily on a wild pitch that got away from Braves’ backstop Anthony Recker. Harper got the intentionals at that point, and Daniel Murphy lined out to end the frame with the Nationals up 7-3.
• Julio Teheran’s Line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 93 P, 55 S, 6/7 GO/FO.
• After throwing 56 pitches in the first three innings, Joe Ross got through the next three on just 30 pitches, and he came back out for the seventh and retired the side in order in a 14-pitch frame that left him at 100 total.
• Joe Ross’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 100 P, 66 S, 7/2 GO/FO.
• Adam Eaton walked and went from first-to-third on a 1-out double by Bryce Harper (4 for 4, BB). Daniel Murphy walked to load them up in front of Ryan Zimmerman, and Zim hit a grand slam to right off Ian Krol to put the Nationals up by eight, 11-3.
• Wilmer Difo drove in run No. 12 with a groundout, 12-3.
• Freddie Freeman drove in a run (a leadoff walk) with an RBI single off Enny Romero in the eighth that made it a 12-4 game.
• Adam Lind drove in a run in the ninth as the Nationals got their nine-run lead back, 13-4 and they added one more, 14-4 final.
Nationals now 9-5
NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:
- Last night’s loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Atlanta, and was the Braves’ first loss in their new home, SunTrust Park.
- In their final season in Turner Field, the Braves were 3-6 against the Nationals and home and 4-15 against Washington overall.
- Freddie Freeman went 2 for 2 with two walks last night, improving to 121 for 366 career vs the Nationals (.331/.400/.516) with 30 doubles and 12 HRs vs the Braves’ NL East rivals in 103 games.
- Freeman started the night with a streak of 10-straight plate appearances in which he’d reached base.
- He extended that streak with a one-out walk and added to it with a solo home run in the third. 12-straight.
- Braves’ starter Julio Teheran started the night with an eight-start winless streak against the Nationals, and a (3-3) record and 4.04 ERA in in 14 starts and 84 2⁄3 IP vs Washington in his career.
Nationals now 9-5