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Harper busts slump with NL-leading 16th HR

Special to MLB.com

MIAMI -- Bryce Harper has had his struggles, but there arguably isn't a more dangerous hitter in the game.

The five-time All-Star and unanimous 2015 National League MVP Award winner busted out of a recent slump with one swing of the bat in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Marlins at Marlins Park. Harper blasted his NL-leading 16th home run of the season to begin the sixth inning against Miami reliever Jarlin Garcia to extend the Nationals' lead to 3-0.

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MIAMI -- Bryce Harper has had his struggles, but there arguably isn't a more dangerous hitter in the game.

The five-time All-Star and unanimous 2015 National League MVP Award winner busted out of a recent slump with one swing of the bat in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Marlins at Marlins Park. Harper blasted his NL-leading 16th home run of the season to begin the sixth inning against Miami reliever Jarlin Garcia to extend the Nationals' lead to 3-0.

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Harper took his frustrations out on the club's bat rack after striking out in his first at-bat on an 0-for-4 Saturday -- in which he fanned four times. After whiffing in his first trip to the plate on Sunday without the use of batting gloves in an attempt to change things up, he hit a towering popout in the fourth.

"Strikeouts don't bother me. If I ground out, it's the same as a strikeout," Harper said. "I've just got to get a good pitch over the plate and try to do some damage. But sometimes you chase and get yourself out."

Video: WSH@MIA: Hernandez strikes out Harper swinging

Over his last 30 games, Harper has a .205/.313/.464 slash line with eight homers and 19 RBIs. 

But Harper got all of Garcia's 93-mph fastball, connecting on a 398-foot shot, as projected by Statcast™. The homer had an exit velocity of 108 mph, with a 30-degree launch angle. It was Harper's first home run since Tuesday against the Padres.

Harper added a sacrifice fly in a two-run seventh to pad Washington's lead.

Video: WSH@MIA: Harper plates Reynolds with a sacrifice fly

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper