Harper and Adams still launching homers (Nats win 7-3)

Bryce Harper is never going to want to give up the leadoff spot in the Nationals' lineup. And Matt Adams is never going to want to give up the No. 3 spot.

The two left-handed sluggers are doing it again tonight, combining for three home runs through the first two innings of what is already shaping up to be another Nats rout.

Harper back panorama Nats Park.jpgHarper led off the bottom of the first with an opposite-field homer, part of a three-run splurge by the Nationals against Phillies starter Nick Pivetta. Then he took Pivetta deep again in the bottom of the second, launching a 473-foot missile way up the batter's eye in center field.

That gives Harper four home runs in three-plus games since taking over leadoff duties in manager Davey Martinez's unconventional lineup, 12 total in 32-plus games for the season.

But he's not alone. Adams has done just as much damage as Harper since moving to the latter's traditional spot in the lineup the same night Harper moved up. When Gabe Kapler pulled Pivetta after retiring only 3-of-11 batters, the rookie Phillies manager probably was hoping for better results. But Adams destroyed reliever Drew Hutchison's first pitch into the second deck in right field for his fourth homer in three-plus games since the lineup switch.

Put it all together, and the Nationals opened up a 7-0 lead in only two innings in their first matchup of the season against the improved Phillies.

Update: Well, the weather has suddenly put a real damper on the festivities tonight. It started pouring in the bottom of the fourth, and so this game has gone into a delay with the Nationals leading 7-0. If you're wondering, they'd have to complete the top of the fifth for the game to become official. So it's not yet.

Update II: The rain has eased up, the tarp is being folded back up and the game will resume at 9:05 p.m.

Update III: Gio Gonzalez returned to pitch the top of the fifth after the 39-minute rain delay, but Martinez wouldn't push him any farther than that, so Gonzalez was done after 89 pitches in a 7-0 game. Trouble is, Trevor Gott entered and gave up back-to-back homers totaling three runs, then departed with some sort of injury. That's troubling for one of the few young relievers who seemed to be stepping up to take on a middle-relief role. We'll have to wait until postgame to learn what the injury was. In the meantime, the Nats now lead 7-3 in the sixth and still have some work to do to seal the deal tonight.

Update IV: That's a final. Nats win 7-3, with Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler closing it out. They've won six in a row, are back over .500 and are only 3 games back in the NL East.

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