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Harper's 22nd homer a moonshot to center

MLB.com @JamalCollier

PITTSBURGH -- After flying out to the warning track in his first two at-bats, Bryce Harper did not miss in his third trip to the plate, launching a no-doubt solo home run to center field in the sixth inning of Monday's 6-3 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.

Harper's swatted a 3-2 pitch from Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova that traveled an estimated 443 feet, according to Statcast™, and landed past the shrubbery over the center-field wall. It was Harper's 22nd home run of the season, tying him with Nolan Arenado for second place in the National League, one behind Jesus Aguilar.

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PITTSBURGH -- After flying out to the warning track in his first two at-bats, Bryce Harper did not miss in his third trip to the plate, launching a no-doubt solo home run to center field in the sixth inning of Monday's 6-3 loss to the Pirates at PNC Park.

Harper's swatted a 3-2 pitch from Pirates right-hander Ivan Nova that traveled an estimated 443 feet, according to Statcast™, and landed past the shrubbery over the center-field wall. It was Harper's 22nd home run of the season, tying him with Nolan Arenado for second place in the National League, one behind Jesus Aguilar.

View Full Game Coverage

It's also a positive sign for Harper, who was named to the All-Star Game for the sixth time in his career on Sunday, and has had mixed results to start this month. In eight games entering Monday, he was just 5-for-25 (.200), but with a .444 on-base percentage and an .804 OPS in eight games in July.

"He's had some good swings as of late, taking his walks," Nats manager Dave Martinez said. "Just missed the fly ball to center. He's starting to come around and be the Harper we know he can be. He's going to get better. He's working hard with [hitting coach Kevin] Long, and it's just a matter of time before he starts squaring all those balls up."

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper