It didn’t take long for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to remind everyone why they are at the epicenter of free-agent speculation at this early point in the 2018 season.
Harper hammered a long home run off Orioles starter Dylan Bundy in the top of the first inning to the delight of the many Washington Nationals fans in attendance Tuesday night at Oriole Park.
It was Harper’s 17th home run of the season, which added to his National League lead in that department. Though he has struggled to keep his batting average above .230, he has homered five times in his past 19 games and boosted his average with hits in his first three at-bats Tuesday night.
Machado was not to be upstaged. He answered with a home run in the bottom of the first inning off former Oriole Jeremy Hellickson. It was his 16th of the year, which ranks him fourth in the American League behind Mike Trout (18), Mookie Betts (17) and J.D. Martinez (17).
The RBI was Machado’s 45th of the season, keeping him tied with Martinez for the major league lead in that category.
May 29, 2018 -- The Orioles lose to the Nationals, 3-2. (Denise Sanders, Baltimore Sun video)