Harper reaches 30 homers for second time

August 15th, 2018

ST. LOUIS -- 's second-half surge continued Tuesday night, when he connected with a two-run homer that snuck just over the fence down the left-field line for his 30th home run of the season.

According to Statcast™, the 98.6 mph fastball that Harper hit out against Cardinals reliever marked the fastest pitch he has homered against in his career.

It's Harper's second straight game with a home run -- the first time he has homered in back-to-back games since May 29-30 at Baltimore -- as he now surpasses his total from all of last season. This is the second time in Harper's career he has reached 30 home runs, as he chases his career high of 42 homers, set during his MVP-winning season in 2015. He has now homered seven times in his past 23 games and entered the day with a slash line of .333/.446/.653 since the All-Star break.

Harper's homer helped start a mini-rally for the Nationals in the eighth inning when they scored three runs to cut into the Cardinals' lead, making it 6-4, before they ultimately fell by the same score.

"They battled back," manager Dave Martinez said. "Harp with a big two-run homer. They really felt like, 'We've still got a chance.' The energy's there. These guys don't quit. And they're going to fight to the end. I love them. I really do. They're playing well."