Bryce Harper hits a walk-off homer in Hagerstown


(Jonathan Newton)

In the bottom of the 10th tonight at Hagerstown, Harper hit a two-run, walk-off home run to give the Suns a 9-8 victory over Greenville, the Red Sox’ affiliate. The blast went to deep right-center field. Harper jogged around the bases without revealing much emotion, then threw his helmet in the air as he rounded third and jumped into a pile of his teammates at the plate.

The home capped another box score-stuffing night Harper. He went 4 for 5 with a walk, and for the season he is now batting .345 with 13 home runs.

Harper’s latest feat will likley add to the calls for Harper to be promoted to Class A Potomac, but early in the night Harper, 18, provided an example of why General Manager Mike Rizzo wants Harper to spend more time in Hagerstown. After hitting a single in his first at-bat, Greenville pitcher Keith Couch picked him off first after faking a throw a throw to third. After another single, Harper got caught in a rundown when he tried to advance on a passed ball.

Harper’s raw numbers – and, tonight, his clutch hitting – are an argument for him to play in Potomac. But the other aspects of Harper’s game suggest more seasoning before he reaches the next level wouldn’t hurt.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

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