Harper's frustrations, plus an update on Murphy and Goodwin

MIAMI - Lost in the hoopla of another late surge and win Saturday for the Nationals were the struggles of right fielder Bryce Harper in this series.

He connected on a two-run double and a single late Friday, which were big in helping the Nats to a 9-5 win. But he has also struck out six times in the series.

Manager Davey Martinez has noted the building frustration for Harper at the plate.

Harper-Kisses-Bat-Red-Sidebar.jpg"He'll snap out of it, that's the only thing I can say," Martinez said after Saturday's 4-1 win. "He's fouling his pitches off. We got to get him to slow down a little bit and just take his walks, get on base and start having fun again. We need him. Like I've said before, he's one of the best players in baseball. Any given day, he can get three hits, hit three home runs and move forward."

Mark Reynolds and Matt Adams continue to produce big hits. Reynolds has five homers in nine games to begin his tenure with the Nats. Adams has hit .555 (5-for-9) with two homers, three runs and four RBIs in his last three games, including a pinch-hit RBI single Saturday in the Nats' three-run ninth to put the game away.

"In any given day, those guys can win ballgames for you," Martinez said. "You saw it (Saturday), you see it with Adams (on Friday). Those guys have been huge for us. I love having them both. They are both truly professionals. Great teammates, I know the teammates love them and they are full of energy so they bring a lot to us."

"He's a baseball player," Martinez said of Reynolds. "Really is. He plays the game the right way. He does a lot of good things. I'm really happy to have him."

Wilmer Difo, who hit the game-tying homer on Saturday, understands the importance of Reynolds to this team.

"I think he's one of the key pieces for us," Difo said through interpreter Octavio Martinez.

When Difo hit his home run, he wasn't sure it had gone out. When he saw it bounce back into play, he gave the signal to the umpires that it was a homer as he rounded first base.

"When I ran the bases, I didn't notice when I hit it because the ball was hit on a line and I didn't think it was going to be a home run," Difo said. "That's why I ran hard in case it wasn't out, I could still homer with my legs."

Reynolds said the Difo homer got the dugout buzzing because Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen was tough to solve.

"Chen was carving us up all day," Reynolds said. "It was frustrating at-bats. All it takes sometimes is one swing to get a little energy in the club and Difo did that for us today. Huge homer. And kind of got guys a little fired up. And he's always fiery anyways - from the short time I've been here. he's fiery. He talks a lot. Huge hit for us and kind of got the momentum switched back and we were able to pull out a win."

Difo, Adams and Reynolds are getting more playing time because of injuries to regulars like Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Eaton.

"I have been pleased with all these guys from day one," Martinez said. "They play with a lot of heart and that's all I can ask."

In their first rehab games with Double-A Harrisburg, Murphy went 1-for-4 with a run scored and Brian Goodwin went 1-for-4. Murphy played second base and Goodwin left field in Harrisburg's 10-6 loss to Altoona.

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