Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bryce Harper Powers Nationals Over Atlanta; Mitch Haniger Leads Seattle Past Miami

Players of the Day for Wednesday, April 19, 2017

American League

Haniger: Hot Rookie
As the Houston Astros attempt to reach escape velocity and zoom away from the rest of the AL West, the four chasing teams are doing what they can to keep pace and somehow catch the 10-5 leaders.

Seattle's gotten off tho a rocky start at 7-9, but they got a boost from rookie outfielder, Mitch Haniger, who supplied most of the gusto in a 10-5 Seattle victory over Miami.

The winning effort gave Seattle the series, two games to one, as they prepare to embark on a ten-game road trip, taking them to Oakland, Detroit, and Cleveland.

Haniger, who has been batting in the #2 spot for most of the season, was 3-for-4 with a double and two singles, scoring three times and driving in four runs. His two-run single in the second put Seattle up 3-2, and his fourth-inning, two-run double put the Mariners ahead for good.

The 26-year-old California native is having a solid season thus far, batting .323 with four home runs and 15 RBI.

The Mariners open an important four-game series at division rival Oakland on Thursday. Game time is 7:05 pm PT.

Harper: GS, 5RBI
National League

This is what most people were expecting from the Washington Nationals, favorites to win the NL East.

Washington assumed a 1 1/2 game lead in the division over Miami and the NY Mets on the strength of a 14-4 tour de force at Atlanta Wednesday night.

The Nationals banged out 20 hits against Atlanta starter Julio Teheran and four relief pitchers, a fifth of those hits off the bat of superstar Bryce Harper, who, in four at-bats, socked a grand slam, a solo homer, singled, doubled, scored three times and drove in five runs.

Harper, the 2012 Rookie of the Year and 2015 league MVP, is off to a blazing start to the 2017 season, batting .404 with six homers and 18 RBI. He's fourth in batting and second in both home runs and RBI.

Winners of three straight, Washington will be looking to complete a sweep of the Braves on Thursday before opening a serious series on Friday in New York with the Mets, considered by many to be the Nationals' primary contender in the division.

Game time Thursday in Atlanta is 7:25 pm ET.

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