Harper, Moore pace July 4 offensive onslaught
WASHINGTON -- Fourth of July fireworks are usually reserved for after the sky gets dark and the grills go cold. But on Saturday in the nation's capital on its 239th birthday, the Nationals shot a few off early.
The Nats smacked four hits and two home runs in the first inning off San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner and never looked back, pummeling the Giants 9-3 at Nationals Park.
"Bumgarner's so good, you don't want to get behind a guy like that," said Bryce Harper, who went 3-for-4 with one of the homers in the first, a two-run shot. "He throws his heater a lot, has that cutter that he throws and a very good curveball. It definitely was good to get out in front and do that."
Tyler Moore matched Harper's three hits -- his first three-hit game since April 14, 2014 -- and drove in four runs.
"It's not the way we planned it, to have so many guys out. But it gives [an] opportunity to Tyler and to Clint [Robinson] and Michael [Taylor] to get in there and get consistent at-bats," manager Matt Williams said. "And the more they do, the better timing they have and the more productive they can be."
In the fourth inning, Moore missed his fifth home run of the season by a few inches. From the box, he knew it was going to end up on the wrong side of the foul pole as soon as he hit it.
"I did, but I didn't want it to be," Moore said. "It would've been nice to be fair."
Moore finished that at-bat with an RBI double into the left-center gap, the first of two doubles on the afternoon. His second came with one out in the sixth and plated two more runs.
His final touch was a run-scoring single in the seventh, making it his first game with at least four RBIs since 2012.
Higher in the order, Harper used his three hits to raise his average to .344. His first-inning home run was his 25th this season and increased his RBI total to a career-high 60.
The U.S.A.-themed bat that Harper had much success with garnered nearly as much attention as the results it produced. The blue bat, with white stars and an outline of Washington's monuments, is a violation of MLB rules. So Harper said he might get a letter or a call from the league -- a risk worth taking in his mind.
"If I get in trouble for swinging it, so be it," Harper said. "I thought it was pretty cool and pretty patriotic. Definitely being in D.C. and playing for the Nationals, it's even cooler."