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Harper hits MLB-leading fifth home run

Slugger is first player to record five-plus HRs, 10-plus RBIs and 10 walks
April 7, 2018

WASHINGTON -- The Mets had done a good job of keeping Bryce Harper from beating them through the first game and a half of this series until the sixth inning on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park, when Harper muscled a Hansel Robles fastball into the visitors' bullpen in left-center field

WASHINGTON -- The Mets had done a good job of keeping Bryce Harper from beating them through the first game and a half of this series until the sixth inning on Saturday afternoon at Nationals Park, when Harper muscled a Hansel Robles fastball into the visitors' bullpen in left-center field for a solo home run.
It was Harper's Major League-leading fifth home run of the season, and it gave Washington a temporary lead before the Mets eventually captured a 3-2 victory.
"Got a pitch off the plate a little bit and really attacked it the way I should have," Harper said. "Finally hit a heater out of the ballpark."
Of course, Harper has been hitting everything to start the season. He has posted a 1.403 OPS through the first eight games, which includes five home runs, a stolen base and the patience for a .486 on-base percentage when he is not getting pitches in the strike zone.

Harper is the first player ever to record five-plus homers, 10-plus RBIs and 10-plus walks through a team's first eight games of the season since RBIs became an official stat in 1920, according to STATS Inc.
New York had some limited success against Harper before that at-bat; he had been 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and a walk against the Mets this season. But pitching to Harper has proved a difficult task so far, since he began this season on such a hot streak.
"Trying to have good at-bats and hit good pitches over the plate," Harper said. "The past couple games, I've had some pitches over the plate that I could have done damage on. But just got to keep attacking, keep going about it the right way and getting pitches that I can drive."

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