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Harper clubs huge HR, Nationals beat Blue Jays 4-2

Washington Nationals' Danny Espinosa, right, celebrates a home run with Adam LaRoche who ran in an RBI against the Toronto Blue Jays during first inning MLB action in Toronto, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. Washington Nationals' Danny Espinosa, right, celebrates a home run with Adam LaRoche who ran in an RBI against the Toronto Blue Jays during first inning MLB action in Toronto, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim)
June 12, 2012
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TORONTO—Bryce Harper homered off the restaurant in center field, Danny Espinosa added a two-run blast and the Washington Nationals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 Tuesday night, extending their winning streak to five games.

Jhonatan Solano added his first career homer as the Nationals improved to 6-2 in interleague play.

Washington's five-game winning streak matches a season best. The Nationals also won five straight from April 10-14.

Jose Bautista hit a two-run shot, but the Blue Jays lost for the fifth time in six games and dropped to .500 at 31-31. Toronto has not been below .500 at any point this season.

Harper posted his second straight three-hit game, finishing 3 for 4. He singled in the first, homered in the third, grounded into a fielder's choice in the fifth and reached on a bunt single in the eighth. Harper has reached safely in eight of his past 10 plate appearances.

Chien-Ming Wang earned his first victory as a starter this season in his third attempt, allowing two runs and four hits in five innings. Wang (2-2) walked five and struck out five.

Ross Detwiler worked 1 2-3 innings, Craig Stammen got one out, Sean Burnett worked the eighth and Tyler Clippard finished in the ninth for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.

The Nationals opened the scoring in the third when Harper blasted his seventh homer, a two-out shot that smacked off the windows of the restaurant in center. The impressive drive left many in the crowd of 22,538 gasping at the teenage rookie's raw power.

The Blue Jays used a hit batter, a single and a walk to load the bases with two outs in the bottom half, but Wang caught Edwin Encarnacion looking to end the threat.

Washington got another two-out homer in the fourth, with Espinosa hitting a two-run shot to center, his sixth.

Bautista brought the Blue Jays to within one in the fifth with a two-run shot to left, his 18th. Bautista has homered three times in his past five games.

Solano made it 4-2 with a two-out solo homer to left in the seventh on a 0-2 pitch.

All three Nationals homers came off Blue Jays right-hander Henderson Alvarez, extending his winless streak to six starts. Alvarez (3-6) allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings. He walked none and struck out three.

Alvarez, whose last victory came May 10 at Minnesota, is 0-4 with a 5.50 ERA in his six starts since, all losses.

NOTES: Tests on Toronto RHP Brandon Morrow, who left Monday's start after just nine pitches, confirmed the initial diagnosis of a strained left oblique. Morrow will be placed on the 15-day DL Wednesday. ... The Blue Jays granted OF Vladimir Guerrero his release. Guerrero, who signed a minor league contract last month, had been playing at Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Toronto sent INF Yan Gomes to Triple-A. ... An MRI on Washington OF Roger Bernadina's sore right hamstring revealed no damage. Bernadina will be given two or three days off, manager Davey Johnson said.

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