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Back in lineup, Harper ties NL lead with 25th HR

Slugger swats 3-run jack a day after being scratched with a stomach virus
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Bryce Harper ate breakfast on Wednesday. Then he hit his 25th homer in the fifth inning.

Harper was scratched from Tuesday's contest due to a stomach virus, but was back in the Nationals' lineup for Washington's 7-3 win over the Brewers at Miller Park on Wednesday afternoon. With two men on and two outs in the fifth, Harper teed up on Freddy Peralta's first pitch for his 25th homer of the season to extend the Nationals' lead to 6-0.

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MILWAUKEE -- Bryce Harper ate breakfast on Wednesday. Then he hit his 25th homer in the fifth inning.

Harper was scratched from Tuesday's contest due to a stomach virus, but was back in the Nationals' lineup for Washington's 7-3 win over the Brewers at Miller Park on Wednesday afternoon. With two men on and two outs in the fifth, Harper teed up on Freddy Peralta's first pitch for his 25th homer of the season to extend the Nationals' lead to 6-0.

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"I felt OK," Harper said. "I think it's going to take a couple days for sure. But happy to hit a three-run shot and help out the team today."

Harper's three-run clout was only the Nationals' second hit of the game, following a two-run single by Daniel Murphy in the first inning. Harper's 25 homers are tied with Jesus Aguilar, Nolan Arenado and Matt Carpenter for the National League home run lead. He has a Major League-leading nine home runs on the first pitch of an at-bat this season.

Harper finished the afternoon 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, but manager Dave Martinez was satisfied with his center fielder's at-bats.

"He's actually been pretty good," Martinez said. "He's working some good at-bats. To see him hit that ball, especially on a line, was awesome. Hopefully he can continue swinging the bat like that. For him, it's just getting balls in the strike zone, swinging at strikes."

Video: WSH@MIL: Roark, Harper talk performance over Brewers

Martinez said Harper was feeling better Wednesday after striking out in a pinch-hitting appearance on Tuesday.

"He had something in his stomach, but he ate this morning and feels pretty good," Martinez said before the game. "So he's in there."

Harper went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and a walk on Monday. The 25-year-old finished Wednesday hitting .216/.363/.475 with 59 RBIs.

Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper