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Harper helps Nationals snap losing skid

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Right in the middle of it all from the very start to the end, Bryce Harper delivered the first game-ending homer of his career, a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth Thursday that lifted Washington to a 9-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates and ended the Nationals' losing streak at six.

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Harper drove a hanging slider over the wall just to the left of straightaway center with two outs off Bryan Morris (4-4), who earlier allowed a single to Kurt Suzuki.

Harper raised his right fist overhead as he rounded first base and was mobbed by a bouncing pack of teammates as he reached home plate.

Ian Krol (1-0) earned the win despite being part of poor relief in the ninth that allowed the Pirates to erase a 7-3 deficit.

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