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Reynolds, Nats mash to wrap D-backs sweep

Harper takes NL lead with 13th HR as Washington wins 13th of last 15
May 13, 2018

PHOENIX -- Mark Reynolds, have a day.Washington Nationals, have a weekend.Reynolds hit two homers in his first game since joining the Nationals on Saturday, and his two-run shot to deep left-center field in the sixth inning broke a tie and helped the Nationals to their 6-4 victory and four-game road

PHOENIX -- Mark Reynolds, have a day.
Washington Nationals, have a weekend.
Reynolds hit two homers in his first game since joining the Nationals on Saturday, and his two-run shot to deep left-center field in the sixth inning broke a tie and helped the Nationals to their 6-4 victory and four-game road sweep of the D-backs Sunday night at Chase Field.
Reynolds also homered in the sixth inning, but he said it was his first-inning single to left field that got him in a groove.
"The first at-bat, I was a little nervous," Reynolds said. "New team. Trying to make a good impression. Got the first hit out of the way, and then I kind of settled down and was able to relax and play the game I've been playing for a long time."

Reynolds hit a curveball for his first homer and sat on a 3-2 fastball from Archie Bradley for his second long ball in the eighth.
"He probably knows that in that first game I haven't seen 'velo' really," Reynolds said. "Just was able to catch it out in front a little bit. I was most happy because we weren't hopefully going to go into extra innings.
"It was just back in the big leagues again, and doing what I've been able to do for a long time."
Reynolds had the 26th multiple-homer game of his career, and it only took four plate appearances after being purchased from Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday.
"You obviously know the power is there and you know he's a great player," said Trea Turner, who took note of Reynolds' 30-homer 2017 with Colorado. "To have him come in here, get a first start and do that for us is huge. It's unbelievable. We needed it."
The Nationals are that hot, too. Turner hit two of the Nationals' six homers in the sweep, and Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon had one apiece. Harper hit his National League-leading 13th homer Sunday.

They have won 13 of 15, a streak that started when they took the final game of a three-game series against Arizona at Nationals Park. They swept a four-game series against Pittsburgh and won two of three against Philadelphia and San Diego before another sweep in Arizona.
"I keep saying these guys play with a lot of heart, and it's been a lot of fun," manager Dave Martinez said. "They are really starting to click, and I love coming to the ballpark and watching them play."

The Nationals' starters gave up four earned runs in 25 2/3 innings as they became the first team to win a series against Arizona, which had been 10-0-2 coming in. The D-backs had only seven runs in the four games.
"They are obviously a really good team, and to win four really close ball games against them is a tough thing to do," Turner said. "I don't know if that's a little bit of them or a little bit of us, but it's great for us to come out on top and get this thing rolling."
Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson got out of a two-on, one-out situation in the fourth inning by utilizing his off-speed stuff. With runners on first and second, Steven Souza Jr. hit a knuckle-curve to third base that resulted in a forceout at second. Hellickson threw three straight changeups to the next batter, Chris Owings, who hit the last one off the end of the bat right to Hellickson for an easy out at first.

Harper had swung on only one of the 30 3-0 pitches he had seen this season entering Sunday. Now, make it two. His homer Sunday came after three straight balls from D-backs starter Zack Godley.

No wonder he entered the game for defensive purposes. Left fielder Andrew Stevenson made a remarkable running catch to take what appeared to be an extra-base away from John Ryan Murphy with a runner on first base and one out in the ninth inning.
Stevenson broke back on Murphy's liner and reached up to snare the ball, which left the bat at 104.9 mph, according to Statcast™. The ball had a 92 percent hit probably, Statcast™ estimated.
"Instincts take over in that situation," Stevenson said. "Your body kind of takes over and you try to make the play. That's a big part of my game, and I'm going to take pride in it."

"You know how hard it is to play the game from game to game, at-bat to at-bat, so many things can change. To do it twice in one game and not play in the last few days, it's pretty unbelievable. Pretty special." -- Turner, on Reynolds' two-homer game
Giovany Gonzalez will start Tuesday's series opener against the Yankees at Nationals Park, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET. Gonzalez has made three straight quality starts after a conversation with manager Dave Martinez regarding a desire to work deeper into games, allowing only two runs in his last 18 innings. Gonzalez has won one of his six decisions against the Yankees, but he has not faced them since 2015.

Jack Magruder is a contributor to based in Phoenix.