Bryce Harper launched home runs in each of his first three at-bats Wednesday afternoon, lifting the Nationals to an early lead over the Marlins and igniting the home crowd on South Capitol Street.
Harper took Miami right-hander Tom Koehler deep in the bottom of the second, third and fifth innings, notching the first 3-homer game of his career and the fourth in club history. Alfonso Soriano, Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman had previously done during the Nationals' 10 seasons of existence.
Harper's first homer was an opposite-field shot, landing in the visitors' bullpen to lead off the second inning. One inning later, he launched an 0-1 pitch from Koehler into the second deck in right-center, giving the Nationals a 4-2 lead.
Harper's third homer was the most impressive of them all, another second-deck shot that left the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton motionless in right field. It also elicited a curtain call from the crowd at Nationals Park.
Harper now has eight homers on the season to go along with an MLB-high 26 walks. That puts him on pace for 45 homers and 145 walks this season, something no player under 25 has ever done in baseball history.
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