Bryce Harper. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

KANSAS CITY — Bryce Harper was awarded the National League Player of the Month award for April. Harper, the defending NL MVP, hit .286 with a .406 on-base percentage and a .714 slugging percentage in 23 games. His 1.121 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) is the highest for any April of his career.

“It’s great,” Harper said. “As a team, we’re doing what we’re doing. I think every single day we’re approaching the game the right way. We’re winning ball games and that’s the best part. All of the personal accolades that’s great but, as a team, we’re doing a great job and going about it the right way.”

Harper also hit nine home runs, collected an MLB-best 24 RBI, stole five bases and struck out only 13 times in 96 plate appearances. Six of his 24 RBI gave the Nationals a lead and three of them won games, which helped the Nationals get off to a 16-7 April, the best in team history.

“It’s something you try to apply to every single day, whether you’re struggling or going good,” Harper said. “Winning ballgames is all that matters. I think having a good approach, the right mindset when you walk into the clubhouse every single day and the box, and enjoying the game. That’s what we’re doing as a team and that’s what I’m doing as well. I take it one game at a time and one at-bat at a time.”

This is Harper’s second player of the month honors; he won in May 2015. Jayson Werth is the only other National to win multiple player of the month awards; Werth won in July of 2013 and 2014.

Harper has slipped into a slump over the past week. He is in an 0 for 14 skid, striking out four times in Sunday’s game for the first time since his rookie 2012 season.

“I feel great,” Harper said. “Sometimes you get out of your comfort zone a little bit too much. Means somebody’s in trouble,” added Harper with a smile, echoing Manager Dusty Baker’s line after Sunday’s game in which the Nationals capped a sweep of the Cardinals without a hit from their star right fielder.

During a three-game sweep of the Nationals by the Phillies, Philadelphia didn’t pitch to Harper. He drew five walks and was walked twice intentionally. The Cardinals did pitch to Harper, however, and he went 0 for 11 with five strikeouts. The extreme change in pitching approach could have been challenging but Harper said it didn’t affect him.

“If you stay in your approach and stay with what you’re doing, then you should be fine,” he said. “You can look at it as best you want, but if St. Louis pitched to me or not, but I chased so many pitches that were outside the zone. So trying to contain it a little bit and try to bring it in a little bit more. It’s May so trying to keep it all going and stay as even keel as I can.”