WASHINGTON – Bryce Harper swung at the 146-kph pitch in the bottom of the 13th inning and could tell right away the ball would end up over the fence.
“I knew it was gone. I mean, I felt it,” the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year said. “I haven’t felt like that in a while. I haven’t got extension on a ball in a pretty long time.”
Harper’s fourth homer of an injury-interrupted, trying season was a game-ending, two-run shot to the opposite field off righty reliever Carlos Torres, lifting Washington past the New York Mets 5-3 Thursday and giving the Nationals a season-high 4½-game lead in the NL East.
“Wanted to put a two-seamer down and away,” said Torres (5-5), who struck out Harper on Wednesday. “It didn’t move that much, unfortunately.”
Harper was hitting .250 with 14 RBIs in 2014 entering Thursday, with zero homers since July 18.
“Hopefully he rides that for the next couple months and (we) sail off into the sunset,” said Ian Desmond, who walked ahead of Harper’s homer.
Brewers 3, Giants 1
In Milwaukee, Wily Peralta became the majors’ first 14-game winner, earning his fifth straight victory.
Pirates 7, Marlins 2
In Pittsburgh, Edinson Volquez pitched one-hit ball for seven innings, and rookie Gregory Polanco drove in four runs for the Pirates.
Cubs 6, Rockies 2
In Denver, Javier Baez hit two more homers and drove in four runs, leading Chicago to the win.
Phillies 6, Astros 5
In Philadelphia, Ryan Howard hit a grand slam to cap the Phillies’ five-run rally in the eighth inning.
Mariners 13, White Sox 3
In Seattle, Roenis Elias took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and Dustin Ackley led a potent offense with a home run and four RBIs.
Royals 6, Diamondbacks 2
In Phoenix, Jeremy Guthrie retired the final 19 batters in Kansas City’s first complete game this season.
Kansas City’s Norichika Aoki was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Athletics 3, Twins 0
In Oakland, Jon Lester pitched a three-hitter for his fourth career shutout.
Yankees 1, Tigers 0
In New York, Shane Greene capped a series of fine starting pitching, working into the ninth inning and then watching closer David Robertson finish the Yankees’ victory.
Ichiro Suzuki was 2-for-3 for New York.
Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1
In Toronto, Caleb Joseph homered for the fourth consecutive game, and Miguel Gonzalez won for the first time in three starts for Baltimore.
Dodgers 7, Angels 0
In Los Angeles, Ryu Hyun-jin yielded two hits over seven dominant innings, and Hanley Ramirez had a two-run single for the Dodgers.
Cardinals 5, Red Sox 2
In St. Louis, Adam Wainwright pitched seven innings for his 14th win, matching Milwaukee’s Wily Peralta for the major league lead, and rookie Kolten Wong homered twice.
Reds 4, Indians 0
In Cincinnati, Homer Bailey pitched seven innings to end his losing streak against Cleveland, and Billy Hamilton had an RBI triple and scored a run for the Reds.