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Harper launches MLB-leading 6th home run

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper has made it a habit of starting the season fast. Entering Sunday night's 6-5 loss to the Mets in 12 innings, he already had posted the highest career OPS in April of any player in Major League history.

Then, in the first inning, Harper put the Nats on the board with a two-run home run against Matt Harvey. It was Harper's Major League-leading sixth home run of the season. He now has more home runs this year than the Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Royals and Marlins. He was in the middle of everything for the Nats on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two walks.

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WASHINGTON -- Bryce Harper has made it a habit of starting the season fast. Entering Sunday night's 6-5 loss to the Mets in 12 innings, he already had posted the highest career OPS in April of any player in Major League history.

Then, in the first inning, Harper put the Nats on the board with a two-run home run against Matt Harvey. It was Harper's Major League-leading sixth home run of the season. He now has more home runs this year than the Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Royals and Marlins. He was in the middle of everything for the Nats on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two walks.

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Harper's career OPS in April was 1.097 entering Sunday's game, ahead of Babe Ruth's 1.089 and Ted Williams 1.088, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The game also represented a breakthrough against Harvey, who had held Harper to 2-for-29 in his career entering the game, including holding him hitless in their first 21 matchups. But Harper turned the table in this matchup, collecting three hits against him Sunday.

"I don't care who's on the mound," Harper said. "Just trying to go out there, have good at-bats, see pitches over the plate and drive the ball."

The home run wasn't even Harper's hardest-hit ball against Harvey on the night. His single in the fifth inning had an exit velocity of 111.5 mph, his hardest-hit ball this season.

Harper also walked to lead off the ninth inning and advanced to second base when he drew an errant pickoff throw from Mets righty Seth Lugo. He advanced to third on a fly ball and was stranded there before the Nationals fell in extras.

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

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper