WASHINGTON -- Battling the sun and ranging to his right, Bryce Harper made a diving catch to save a run to end the top of the fifth inning of Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Padres at Nationals Park.The Padres had already scored the first run after the previous batter, Manuel
WASHINGTON -- Battling the sun and ranging to his right, Bryce Harper made a diving catch to save a run to end the top of the fifth inning of Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Padres at Nationals Park.
The Padres had already scored the first run after the previous batter, Manuel Margot, dropped a run-scoring single in front of Harper. But Harper prevented another run from scoring when he took away a potential hit from Tyson Ross in the right-center-field gap to preserve a 1-0 game.
Harper has also contributed at the plate lately, with home runs in the past two games to increase his National League-leading total to 15 homers on the season.
Although he downplayed it after the game, Harper battled the sun for the entire game in right, including a tough play in the sixth at the wall on Christian Villanueva's two-run double, which ended up as the difference in the game. Harper reached the ball in time, but couldn't complete the catch as the ball tipped off his glove and a pair of runs scored.
It was a difficult play for Harper and Statcast™ would have rated it a four-star catch on a play that had a 49 percent catch probability.
"Definitely a tough play," Harper said. "Maybe a little bit quicker to it could have gotten to it, but nothing I can do."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.