Martinez: I'll talk to Harper over not running


Washington Nationals manager Davey Martinez said he will talk to centerfielder Bryce Harper about failing to run out a ground ball in the fifth inning of the team’s 4-2 loss to the New York Mets Friday night.

“That’s a conversation I’ll have with Bryce tomorrow,” Martinez said.

Harper came up in the top of the fifth with one out and Adam Eaton on second and Anthony Rendon on first after two singles. The Nationals trailed the Mets, 4-1.

Harper smashed a ground ball to short that was fielded by shortstop Amed Rosario, who tossed to Asdrubal Cabrera for the force on Rendon, and on to Wilmer Flores to get Harper.

Harper started jogging about halfway down the line.

Martinez defended Harper’s play in general, however, saying “I have no beef with Bryce. He comes every day to play.”

The manager said he had a good work ethic, and that when he tried to give the six-time All-Star days off, he doesn’t want them. Harper is one of the most prominent hosts for Tuesday’s All-Star game at Nationals Park, as well as Monday’s Home Run Derby.

The 2015 MVP is in the midst of a contract year and having one of his worst seasons. When his power is still there — he has 23 home runs and 53 RBIs — he is batting only .214. When the All-Star results were announced Sunday, his average ranked 78th out of 81 qualified National Leaguers.

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