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August 23, 2014

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Harper has 4 RBIs, leaves early in Nats’ 11-1 win

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AP Photo/Nick Wass

Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper slides into third with a three-RBI triple during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Friday, April 25, 2014, in Washington.

WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper drove in a career-high four runs before leaving the game, and Stephen Strasburg pitched seven scoreless innings as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 11-1 on Friday night.

Harper, who starred at Las Vegas High and College of Southern Nevada, drove in a run with an infield single in the first and had a bases-loaded triple in the third. Following his headfirst dive into third base on the triple, Harper flexed his left wrist. He was later replaced in left field by Nate McLouth to start the fifth inning. No announcement was made regarding whether or not Harper was injured.

Anthony Rendon had a career-high four hits for Washington, which had 17 hits overall.

Strasburg (2-2) allowed seven hits and walked two, but struck out 11. He turned in his second straight effective start, lowering his ERA from 5.33 to 4.24.

San Diego's Robbie Erlin (1-3) allowed eight runs and 13 hits over 5 1-3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.

Everth Cabrera had three hits for the Padres.

One night after Washington went 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position in a 4-3 12-inning loss, the Nationals bounced back by going 7 for 17, including 5 for 7 over the first three innings as they built a 6-0 lead.

Harper, who came in with five RBIs in his first 21 games, nearly doubled that.

With runners on first and second and two outs in the first, Ian Desmond lined Erlin's first pitch to right-center for a double, scoring Rendon. Harper followed with an infield single up the middle to make it 2-0.

In the third, with one out and the bases loaded, Harper drilled a 3-2 pitch off the wall in right.

Three runners scored and Harper, under increased scrutiny since his benching last Saturday for not running out a grounder to the pitcher, was looking triple all the way and slid in ahead of the relay. He scored on a single by Jose Lobaton to make it 6-0.

In two career starts against Washington, Erlin has allowed 17 runs in 9 1-3 innings.

Pitching against his hometown team, Strasburg allowed at least one baserunner in six of his seven innings, but the Padres couldn't get a timely hit.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the third, Yonder Alonso flied to left. In the fourth, the Padres had first and second with one out, but Xavier Nady struck out and, on the pitch, Lobaton caught Nick Hundley roaming too far off first.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed 57 minutes by rain. . Washington is 10-1 when scoring four or more runs. The Padres placed 3B Chase Headley (right calf strain) on the 15-day disabled list and optioned INF/OF Tommy Medica to Triple-A El Paso. They promoted INF Jace Peterson from Double-A San Antonio and RHP Kevin Quackenbush from their top minor league team. Each made his major league debut. Peterson collected his first hit, a single off Strasburg in the seventh, and Quackenbush allowed two runs in 1 2-3 innings. Nationals C Wilson Ramos (hamate bone fracture) took batting practice Friday and will begin defensive drills and light catching this weekend. San Diego's Andrew Cashner (2-2, 2.10) opposes Tanner Roark (1-0, 3.80) on Saturday.

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