MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Harper finds Philly's confines friendly

Nats slugger homers for the 5th straight game at Citizens Bank Park

Harper finds Philly's confines friendly

PHILADELPHIA -- When Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper gets locked in at the plate, it's scary. The Phillies know this firsthand. On Saturday night, Harper went 2-for-3, hit a home run and knocked in three runs during an 8-1 victory at Citizens Bank Park.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harper joins Jim Bottomley as the only opposing players in modern MLB history (since 1900) to have two hits and at least one home run in five straight games at Philadelphia.

The home run came in the fifth inning with the Nationals already leading, 5-0. After Anthony Rendon walked, Harper swung at a 1-0 pitch and hit the ball into the right-field stands for his third homer in as many games and fifth this season.

Harper's two-run homer

"I just love playing here. I can see the ball very well here. It's a great park to play in. I feel comfortable here," Harper said. "I think every night you go out there you want to play hard. You want to play well and do everything you can to win ballgames. That's what you want to do every single night, and that's what we're going to do."

Harper's sac fly opens scoring

Teammate Max Scherzer is amazed at what Harper can do at the plate. Scherzer said Harper can hit any pitch out in any direction.

"We are seeing it right now where he can get in the zone," Scherzer said. "He can sit on a pitch … and as soon as he gets it, it's gone. He's that good. That's what makes him scary. He is getting smarter. He understands what pitchers are doing against him.

"When the situation is right, he knows how to be aggressive toward any pitch. It could be a curveball on a 2-0 count or a 0-0 heater. He's getting more and more of a feel of what pitchers are trying to do against him. That's what the great return is. We're seeing him do more at the plate, even with less to hit."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.