Bryce Harper takes a bow, Victor Robles offers glimpse of future in Nationals’ win

September 27, 2018

It may have been the home finale at Nationals Park for Bryce Harper, a seven-year veteran at age 25, but the pending free agent was upstaged by even younger stars on Wednesday.

Washington smoked the last-place Miami Marlins 9-3 in the last home game of the season in a game that was called by rain in the last of the seventh inning.

Center fielder Victor Robles, 21, had four hits in his first four at-bats, finished 4-for-5 and drove in five runs. He joined a list of just four players since 1961 to get four hits, one homer and five RBI in one game under the age of 21 years, 130 days, according to Andrew Simon of mlb.com.

“It was very important since it was the last (home) game,” Robles said, via translator Octavio Martinez.

Another player to do that is Juan Soto, 19, who started in left field. Soto had his big game on June 29, after he was called up to the majors for the first time in late May.

“I really love what I see,” manager Dave Martinez said of Robles. “He wants to learn. He has made adjustments up here.”

Robles said he has enjoyed being teammates with Harper and Soto.

“I’m very proud to be on the field with (Harper) and Juan.,” Robles said. “They are great teammates.”

The game was stopped by rain in the top of the eighth. The series finale was called after a delay of about 50 minutes. Both teams are off Thursday, but the Marlins begin a series in New York against the Mets on Friday while the Nationals are in Colorado.

Harper was due to bat to start the eighth as the game was called.

Martinez was going to take out Harper out to start the top of the ninth so he could get an ovation.

“I don’t like the rain right now,” a glum Harper said.

Kyle McGowin, 26, made his first big league start after three outings out of the bullpen since being promoted from Triple-A Syracuse earlier this month.

He allowed just one hit and no runs in four innings before he was lifted in the fifth due to a blister on his finger. Washington reliever Wander Suero (4-1), who pitched a scoreless sixth inning and struck out three to pick up the win.

“I thought he was great,” Martinez said of McGowin. “His slider is really impressive.”

Infielder Adrian Sanchez, who made his big league debut last season, had three hits for Washington.

Knocked out of playoff contention Saturday, Washington improved to 81-78 to guarantee at least a .500 season. The Nationals finished 41-40 at home this season and 41-35 against the National League East.

NOTES: Infield prospect Carter Kieboom, the brother of catcher Spencer, was named the Nationals’ minor league player of the year. The minor league pitcher of the year was Wil Crowe, who also played for both Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg this season ... The announced crowd was 28,680 ... Miami starting second baseman Christopher Bostick is a former Nationals minor leaguer.

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