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Bryce Harper hits longest career walk-off home run after signing huge contract

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USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper hits longest career walk-off home run after signing huge contract

WASHINGTON  -- Fresh from getting a big deal, Bryce Harper hit a game-ending home run with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Washington Nationals over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 on Saturday night.

Hours before the game, the Nationals announced they had reached agreement with Harper on a $21,625,000 contract for the 2018 season, covering the slugging outfielder through his last year before he can become a free agent. Harper would've been eligible for salary arbitration next year.

Then in the ninth, the 24-year-old star provided an immediate payoff. Pinch hitter Adam Lind led off with a single against Edubray Ramos (0-3) and two outs later, Harper lined an 0-1 pitch over the wall in center for his 11th homer of the season.

Trailing 4-0 in the fifth, Washington tied it on a two-run homer by Trea Turner and a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman.

Shawn Kelley (3-0) pitched the ninth.

Washington relievers threw 4 1-3 scoreless innings, helping send the Phillies to their eighth loss in nine games.

Nick Pivetta made his third career start and second against the team that sent him to Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon and cash in 2015. He gave up four runs on five hits over 4 2-3 innings.

Washington starter Tanner Roark allowed four runs on six hits in 4 2-3 innings.

More Nationals: NATIONALS AGREE TO TERMS WITH OUTFIELDER BRYCE HARPER ON 2018 CONTRACT​

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Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

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USA Today

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

ATLANTA—Anibal Sanchez outpitched Mike Soroka and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Matt Adams homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Saturday night.

Second-place Washington pulled within 5 games of the NL East-leading Braves, improving to 33-14 since May 24, best in the majors over that span. Atlanta has dropped four of five.

Sanchez (6-6) got a big assist in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Trea Turner turned a bases-loaded double play, leaping to nab Nick Markakis' liner and throwing to first to beat Josh Donaldson back to the bag.

Soroka (10-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He had won 10 straight decisions, best by an Atlanta pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux had a 10-decision streak in 2001.

Sean Doolittle got the last five outs, facing the minimum, for his 21st save in 25 chances. He struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. with a runner at second to end the eighth and breezed through the ninth.

Washington went up 4-1 in the fifth when Sanchez reached on an infield single to third, took second on Donaldson's throwing error and scored on Turner's double. Turner took third on Adam Eaton's single and scored on Anthony Rendon's single. Eaton scored on Juan Soto's single.

The Nationals took a 5-3 lead in the eighth off A.J. Minter as Turner singled, stole second and scored on Eaton's single.

Adams went deep for the 15th time, an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center and into the stands to tie it at 1-all in the fourth.

Sanchez, who pitched for the Braves last year and helped them win the division, allowed three runs and six hits and has a 2.70 ERA in his last nine starts.

Atlanta led 1-0 in the first when Acuna reached on an infield single, stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on Freddie Freeman's single.

Brian McCann's ninth homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, chased Sanchez and cut the lead to 4-3.

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NBC Sports Washington's Michael Stearman contributed to this Associated Press story.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Sean Doolittle seals the deal in victory over Atlanta Braves

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Sean Doolittle seals the deal in victory over Atlanta Braves

Check out the latest news and notes surrounding the Washington Nationals.

Player Notes: 

SS Trea Turner went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI as the Nationals topped the Braves 5-3 on Saturday evening. Turner delivered a go-ahead RBI double off of Mike Soroka in the fifth inning, giving the Nationals a lead they wouldn't relinquish. He also swiped his 20th base of the season in the contest.

1B Matt Adams slugged his 15th home run of the season on Saturday, helping to propel the Nationals to victory over the Braves. For the season, Adams is hitting .235/.273/.519 with the aforementioned 15 homers and 40 RBI.

RP Sean Doolittle recorded the final five outs against the Braves on Saturday night, preserving a two-run advantage to earn his 21st save of the season. The left-hander came on with a man on and a man out in the eighth inning, with the Nationals clinging to a one-run lead. Doolittle retired Charlie Culberson and Ronald Acuna without issue, then stuck around to work a perfect ninth inning as well to seal the deal. 

SP Anibal Sanchez picked up his sixth victory of the season on Saturday night, limiting the Braves to three runs on six hits over his five-plus frames. The veteran right-hander struck out four and walked three on the night. Sanchez allowed an RBI single to Freddie Freeman in the opening inning, then kept the Braves off the board until Brian McCann tagged him for a two-run blast in the sixth, chasing him from the game. Sanchez is now 6-6 on the season. 

Injuries: 

SP Max Scherzer: Back, late July

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, out mid-July 

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, out indefinitely 

Coming Up:

Sunday 7/21:  Nationals at Braves, 7:08 p.m., SunTrust Park

Monday 7/22:  Nationals vs Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Tuesday 7/23:  Nationals vs Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Source: Rotoworld

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