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Nationals pull off late rally to beat Mets

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NEW YORK—The “shear” power of Bryce Harper was startling.

The late comeback by the Washington Nationals? Yep, that was shocking, too.

Harper hit an eye-popping, broken-bat homer early, then grounded a key single during a six-run surge in the eighth inning that sent the Nationals past the N.Y. Mets 8-6 last night night.

“Barrelled it pretty good," Harper said. "It just broke and kept going.”

The Nationals rallied against five pitchers in their big burst, winning for just the fourth time in 13 games.

The Mets had been off to the best start in franchise history behind the top bullpen in the majors before collapsing.

“That was big, super big. I'm not going to sit here and lie,” Nationals' manager Dave Martinez said.

“It's a big pick-me-up. . . . That dugout was electric.”

Trailing 6-1, Washington combined five hits, three walks, and a hit batter to go ahead.

Harper's two-run single off Jerry Blevins made it 6-3.

Wilmer Difo tied it with a two-out, two-run single off Jeurys Familia before Michael A. Taylor drew a bases-loaded walk from the Mets' closer for a 7-6 lead.

“It was just unfortunate," said New York manager Mickey Callaway. "Off night for a few of them but we have to move on.”

"It's one inning. It wasn't even the game.

“We'll learn from it and make sure that it doesn't throw us into some kind of tailspin,” Callaway added.

“Because we're a really good team and we've been showing that.”

Howie Kendrick added a solo homer in the ninth.

Harper hit his major league-high eighth home run, and his 33 1/2-inch, 31 1/2-ounce Marucci bat paid the price.

It cracked into two pieces but the ball still flew an estimated 406 feet to right-centre field.

The lumber shattered just above his hands, and the barrel helicoptered into the high, protective netting behind home plate on the first base side.

The five-time all-star trotted most of the way to first holding the few inches of the handle that remained after connecting in the first off Jacob deGrom.

On his way back to the dugout, Harper playfully pulled up his sleeve to show his biceps.

The 25-year-old former NL MVP has hit 158 home runs so far. Anything like that?

“Uh, no,” Harper said.

“He started to flex when he came back," noted Martinez. "I said, 'Yeah, you're strong.'”

DeGrom struck out 12 in 7 1/3 innings, the longest outing by a Mets' pitcher this season. He left with two on, one out, and a five-run lead.

He also drove in a run with a safety squeeze.

A.J. Cole (1-1) got the win despite giving up Asdrubal Cabrera's two-run homer in the seventh that made it 6-1.

Ryan Madson earned his second save.

AJ Ramos (0-1) took the loss.

Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson gave up two runs over 4 2/3 innings in his Nationals' debut.

Elsewhere in the NL, Colorado beat Pittsburgh 6-2, Atlanta edged Philadelphia 2-1, Cincinnati dumped Milwaukee 10-4, and L.A. Dodgers pounded San Diego 10-3.

St. Louis at Chicago was postponed.

Over in the AL, Tampa Bay doubled Texas 8-4, Oakland dumped Chicago 8-1, and Seattle nipped Houston 2-1.

Baltimore at Boston was postponed.

The N.Y. Yankees bombed Miami 12-1 in interleague play.

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