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Harper Gets Big Deal, Hits HR In 9th, Nats Beat Phils 6-4

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fresh from getting a big deal, Bryce Harper hit a game-ending home run with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Washington Nationals over the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4 on Saturday night.

Hours before the game, the Nationals announced they had reached an agreement with Harper on a $21,625,000 contract for the 2018 season, covering the slugging outfielder through his last year before he can become a free agent. Harper would’ve been eligible for salary arbitration next year.

Then in the ninth, the 24-year-old star provided an immediate payoff. Pinch hitter Adam Lind led off with a single against Edubray Ramos (0-3) and two outs later, Harper lined an 0-1 pitch over the wall in center for his 11th homer of the season.

Trailing 4-0 in the fifth, Washington tied it on a two-run homer by Trea Turner and a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman.

Shawn Kelley (3-0) pitched the ninth.

Washington relievers threw 4 1-3 scoreless innings, helping send the Phillies to their eighth loss in nine games.

Nick Pivetta made his third career start and second against the team that sent him to Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon and cash in 2015. He gave up four runs on five hits over 4 2-3 innings.

Washington starter Tanner Roark allowed four runs on six hits in 4 2-3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (lower back strain) will make a second rehab start on Monday with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

UP NEXT

Phillies: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-1, 3.49 ERA) faces the Nationals for the fourth time this season in the first game of Sunday’s split doubleheader. He’s 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA against them in 2017, and 2-3, with a 4.86 ERA lifetime.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 2.64) has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last six home starts against the Phillies, a streak that dates to July 2014.

WE SHOULD SEE OTHER PEOPLE

Weather permitting, at the close of Sunday the Phillies will have played 12 of their first 35 games of the season against the slugging Nationals. “When you’re facing teams of this caliber like the Nationals. that wasn’t a good draw on our part,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. After Sunday, the teams don’t meet again until Sept. 7.

COMFORT ZONE

Nationals manager Dusty Baker on Harper agreeing to a contract for 2018: “We always like to know where we are, where we’re going. I think everybody likes to be comfortable, not to have to wonder what’s in their future. And not only is he comfortable, he’s very comfortable.”

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