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Harper talks hitting at Chase with humidor

'It's definitely tough,' Nats star says
Special to MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Las Vegas native Bryce Harper knows light, desert air. He knows Arizona, after playing his first professional games in the Arizona Fall League. And he knows there is something different here, Chase Field's first season with a humidor.

"It's terrible," Harper said.

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PHOENIX -- Las Vegas native Bryce Harper knows light, desert air. He knows Arizona, after playing his first professional games in the Arizona Fall League. And he knows there is something different here, Chase Field's first season with a humidor.

"It's terrible," Harper said.

View Full Game Coverage

Harper had two doubles in the first three games of the series, well-struck doubles down the right-field line, but he saw deep fly balls to left-center fielder Thursday and deep center Friday stay in play. Both were caught at the base of the fence.

"I think it's definitely changed a lot," Harper said.

"You usually come here and you are thinking maybe hit one or two homers and have a good couple of days in Arizona," he said. "But you really have to get it or put one down the line each way to get it out of his place. Definitely changes the atmosphere here. It's definitely tough."

Harper has eight doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 16 previous games at Chase Field, hitting one of the homers last season.

Scherzer to stay in turn
Max Scherzer will pitch on regular four days' rest Wednesday, manager Dave Martinez said, in the second game of a two-game series against the Yankees, a series that is bracketed by off-days Monday and Thursday.

Gio Gonzalez will start the series opener Tuesday and Tanner Roark will be pushed back to Friday, the opener of a three-game series against the Dodgers. Roark and Stephen Strasburg will have six days between starts on this turn through the rotation, and Gonzalez and Scherzer will be on five days' rest following that.

"We're trying to give everybody that [extra rest]," Martinez said.

Video: WSH@ARI: Scherzer K's 11, records 2 hits vs. D-backs

Chip Hale returns
Nationals bench coach Chip Hale spent his first weekend in Chase Field since he was replaced as the D-backs' manager following the 2016 season.

"It's tough, honestly, because we really enjoyed our time here as a family," said Hale, who lives in Tucson in the offseason.

"But baseball moves on. That's how we always do. We've been with different teams quite often now, through playing days and coaching days and managing days. So you just get used to it and move on."

Hale has played, coached and managed in six organizations since helping the University of Arizona to the College World Series title in 1986.

"Obviously the opportunity that I got was fantastic," he said. "They [D-backs] gave me an opportunity. We just didn't win enough. That's OK. That's why opportunities arise every year."

His goal is to manage again.

"If I didn't, I would have gotten out of the game," Hale said. "I love coaching. I love teaching. I love all the aspects of it. But I'd like to get back in that manager's seat at some point."

Rendon gets a day
Anthony Rendon was given a start off Sunday after playing eight straight days following his return from the disabled list, a move that will give him two straight days off counting Monday's travel day.

Howie Kendrick was in the lineup hitting third behind Trea Turner and Harper on Sunday, the spot Rendon had occupied for the previous seven games. Turner has played in 31 of the last 32 games, and Martinez said the upcoming off-days mitigated the need to give him time off this weekend.

Jack Magruder is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer