SPORTS

Nationals beat San Diego Padres

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Bryce Harper hit his first big league home run and Chad Tracy and Xavier Nady each connected in the eighth inning, leading the Washington Nationals to an 8-5 victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

Harper became the youngest major leaguer to homer since 1998, going deep on a solo shot to straightaway center field in the third inning off right-hander Tim Stauffer. The home run came in the outfielder's 15th game and 54th at-bat with the Nationals.

He's the youngest current player in the majors - and, at 19 years and 211 days old, the youngest to hit a homer since Adrian Beltre of the Los Angeles Dodgers was 19 years and 171 days old on Sept. 25, 1998, according to STATS LLC.

Harper was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft and spent time at Single-A and Double-A last season. He began 2012 at Triple-A Syracuse, then was called up to the majors in late April because of a series of injuries to Nationals starters.

Harper skipped his final year of high school, earned his GED, then played one season of junior college baseball at the College of Southern Nevada to become eligible for the draft and get a head-start on his professional career. He signed a five-year, $9.9 million contract, including $6.5 million in signing bonuses, with the Nationals in August 2010.

Washington also lost another player to injury in a season that has been filled with them. Catcher Sandy Leon - making his major league debut - left the game in the fourth inning after spraining his right ankle in a collision at home plate.

 

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