Nationals

Nationals

WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper loves the moment. He loves the spotlight.

Aside from the postseason and All-Star Game, there are few moments in professional baseball bigger than Opening Day, and on Monday, Harper rose to the occasion once again.

In the bottom of the sixth inning with the Nationals trailing the Marlins 2-0, Harper stepped into the batter's box to face David Phelps, who replaced starter Edinson Volquez after five innings.

Harper didn't wait long to put his stamp on the game, blasting a Phelps' pitch deep to right field for the Nationals' first run, RBI and home run of the season.

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The home run was Harper's fifth on Opening Day. In 2013, Harper became the youngest player to ever hit two home runs on Opening Day, doing so against the Marlins. He also hit an Opening Day home run in 2015 and 2016, meaning Harper has now hit home runs on three consecutive Opening Days, becoming the first person in franchise history to do so.

Harper is also the first player in the live ball era to hit five Opening Day home runs before his 25th birthday — which isn't until October.

 

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