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Harper named NL Player of Week ... again

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Harper named NL Player of Week ... again

Bryce Harper on Monday was named NL Player of the Week. And no, you aren’t reading the same story from last Monday. This is a new one.

After a blistering performance over the last seven days in Arizona and San Diego, Harper earned the honor for the second straight week. He becomes only the 10th player in NL history to win this award in consecutive weeks since it was first handed out in 1974.

On the heels of a record-setting homestand in which he homered six times in three games, Harper remained red-hot on the Nationals’ West Coast trip. He finished the week hitting .522 with three homers, nine RBI, 10 runs, nine walks, a .656 on-base percentage and 1.743 OPS.

For the season, Harper now leads the NL (or is tied for the league lead) with 14 homers, 37 RBI, 36 runs, 36 walks, a .476 on-base percentage, .729 slugging percentage, 1.206 OPS, 97 total bases, five intentional walks and 2.9 WAR. He leads the majors in all of those categories except for homers (trailing Seattle’s Nelson Cruz by one).

Other players to win consecutive NL Player of the Week honors are: Domonic Brown (2013), Andrew McCutchen (2012), Matt Kemp (2012), Troy Tulowitzki (2010), Jose Reyes (2006), Jason Bay (2006), Jeff Bagwell (1994), Tony Gwynn (1988) and Jason Thompson (1982).

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.