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Harper shows off cannon right arm with pair of assists

WASHINGTON -- Although he is primarily known for his bat, Bryce Harper also owns a cannon of a right arm.

The 20-year-old Nationals left fielder recorded two outfield assists Friday night against the Phillies, one from foul territory and another from the warning track. He now has 12 outfield assists this season, tied for second-most in the National League, despite missing a lot of time due to injuries.

"I like throwing guys out. I get fired up," Harper said. "It doesn't happen very often. Homers don't happen very often, but I get a little adrenaline rush when I throw guys out."

Harper's first assist came in the fifth inning, when Freddy Galvis hit a line drive down the left-field line. Harper raced to collect the ball and threw the ball to second baseman Steve Lombardozzi on one hop. Galvis was initially safe, but his momentum carried him off the bag and Lombardozzi applied the tag for the out.

Then, in the sixth, Harper fielded a Carlos Ruiz shot off the wall in left. He threw another laser to Lombardozzi just in time, robbing the Phillies' catcher of what appeared to be an easy double.

"As soon as the ball is hit, I'm kind of looking back and forth to check the runner," Lombardozzi said. "You never know with his arm. You've always got a chance. That was pretty impressive."

Tom Schad is an associate reporter for
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