When Aguilar went out in the first round, that left Harper to supply just about all of the star power, and he delivered with a dramatic victory over Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber in the final round before a delirious home crowd announced at 43,698.
At the 2015 All-Star Game, when Reds slugger Todd Frazier won the Derby in Cincinnati, Harper vowed that when the contest came to the nation's capital, he would compete. "He found some rhythm, kept it simple and just continued to hit home run after home run". I was fortunate enough for him to ask me to do it, and I was happy I could at least get locked in for a minute and get him over that hump. Smacking nine homers after the timeout to top Hoskins, who hit 20 total round-trippers in the second round, Schwarber blasted a 462-foot walk-off moonshot down the right-field line that brought with it a worthy bat flip. With the win, Harper became the first member of the Nationals to take home the Home Run Derby Crown. He matched Schwarber's 18 homers on the final swing of his allotted 4 minutes.
"I'm only as good as my BP guy", Harper said with a grin. So I'm really proud of him. "The crowd is behind him". He's a great kid.
Eight rare rhinos die during relocation
The park's veterinary and management teams are closely monitoring the three surviving rhinos, which have been given fresh water. LEAD IMAGE: Kenya Wildlife Service officials prepare to load a sedated black rhino into a transport crate on June 26, 2018.
Here's the scene after the final swing.
Update: Harper advanced to the semifinals by hitting six homers of more than 440 feet, downing Freeman, 13-12.