Harper hits second slam in 6-game span

Harper hits second slam in 6-game span

MIAMI -- Through Tuesday night's first six innings, the Nationals' offense was dormant, held in check by Marlins starter Adam Conley. When their bats finally came alive in the seventh, they did so in record-setting fashion.

The Nationals put together a pair of back-to-back homers as part of a seven-run seventh inning in Tuesday's 7-0 victory at Marlins Park, highlighted by a grand slam from Bryce Harper. Jayson Werth, Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman all added solo homers as the Nats hammered four home runs in the same inning for the first time in franchise history.

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"That just shows what we're capable of doing," manager Dusty Baker said. "I've always said once we can get everybody swinging, the way they're capable of swinging, that we're capable of a lot of those innings, which goes to show us that we should never be out of a ballgame if we're capable of striking like that."

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Harper did not have a grand slam before last Thursday, when he knocked one for his 100th career home run, but it only took him five more games to blast his second. He launched a 2-1 pitch off Marlins left-hander Chris Narveson 408 feet to right-center field to continue his scorching start to this season.

It was Harper's seventh long ball of the season and fifth in the past six games. He owns a 1.296 OPS in 2016 with 20 RBIs.

"What he's doing is pretty special," Werth said. "He's really coming into his own. He's arguably one of the, if not 'the' best players in the game.

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"He's got good guys around him, too, so that helps. I would say last season on into this season, he's been really, really exciting. That's probably an understatement. But I wouldn't have given him that kind of credit early on in his career. But he really is one of the, if not 'the' most exciting player in the game. From where I'm sitting, it's fun to watch."

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Werth began the barrage in the seventh, with a one-out solo blast to right-center off Conley for his 200th career home run. Ramos jumped on the next pitch, expecting fastball and getting one, to put the Nationals ahead by two runs. Washington eventually loaded the bases for Harper and Miami countered with Narveson, who fell behind in the count. Harper made him pay for it.

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"I was trying to go deep, to tell you the truth," Harper said. "It happened. I got a good pitch to drive and did my job."

Zimmerman followed with a solo dinger for good measure to make the Nats the first team to hit back-to-back homers twice in an inning since the Brewers did so against the D-backs on Aug. 11, 2010.

"Whenever you hit homers and score runs, you're gonna have a lot more fun," Harper said. "You're going to win ballgames as well."

Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.