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Harper apologizes for bat-breaking incident

The Sports Xchange
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--OF Bryce Harper, the Nationals' 19-year-old rookie sensation, raised the Marlins' eyebrows again Sunday when he broke his bat against home plate after striking out in the fourth inning. "I saw it hit and I kind of like jumped away" to avoid a chunk of the broken bat that flew up, C John Buck said after the Marlins' 4-1 loss.

Buck said Harper apologized to him when he stepped to the plate in his next at-bat. "He told me he was really sorry. 'That was terrible,'''' Buck said. "I said, 'Don't worry about it, kid. I did the same thing but when I was your age but it was a metal bat and I was in high school.''

During the Nationals' previous series with Miami after the All Star break, Harper exchanged words with manager Ozzie Guillen after Guillen complained about the rookie using too much pine tar on his bat.

--SS Jose Reyes takes a career-best hitting streak of 24 games into Tuesday's game against the Mets in New York. Reyes extended the streak with a single up the middle off Stephen Strasburg in the fourth inning Sunday.

That's the fourth-longest hitting streak in Marlins history. Luis Castillo has the record at 35 games (May 8-June 21, 2002), followed by Emilio Bonifacio at 26 games (June 28-July 28, 2011) and Kevin Millar's 25 games (Aug. 24-Sept. 19, 2002).

It's also the first 23-game hitting streak by a reigning batting champion since Wade Boggs hit in 25 straight games in 1987. He is the first reigning National League batting champion with a 24-game hitting streak since Stan Musial hit in 24 straight in 1952.

Reyes is 19-for-46 going into Tuesday since being moved to third in the batting order July 27. The Marlins are off Monday.

--INF Nick Green was recalled from Class AAA New Orleans. He is back in the majors for the first time since 2010 when he hit .154 in nine games for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Green, 33, is a career .237 hitter over parts of seven seasons, playing for Atlanta, Tampa Bay, the Yankees, Seattle, Boston, the Dodgers and Blue Jays.

"I feel more rewarded this time than I have in the past just because it has been a while since I have been in the big leagues. It feels like forever," said Green, who was hitting .344 in 63 games for New Orleans this year.

--Manager Ozzie Guillen couldn't hide his anger Saturday after relief pitcher Mike Dunn dropped a routine throw while covering first base, an error that led to six unearned runs scoring after two outs in the eighth inning.

"We practice that (bleeping) thing from the first day of spring training,'' he said after the 10-7 loss, referring to the drill called 'pitchers' fielding practice.' "The only mother (bleeping) thing people do in baseball is the PFP and we do that (expletive) 24 (bleeping) hours every day. And there you go. That was the baseball game right there.''

Dunn said: "I don't know if I squeezed the glove too soon or what. I really don't know what happened on it. I just felt it hit on the end of the glove and it wasn't in the glove.''

The collapse wasted an impressive offensive night by a Marlins lineup that featured five players hitting under .174, including two under .062. Miami still managed to score seven runs on 12 hits in the team's highest offensive showing in 18 games, including five runs off Nationals starter Ryan Zimmerman, the National League pitcher of the month for July.

--CF Bryan Petersen went into Saturday batting .169 and finished with a .197 batting average after a three-hit game. He went 0-for-4 Sunday, dropping his batting average to .188.

--LHP Mark Buehrle made a highlight-reel play to throw out Kurt Suzuki at first base in the sixth inning, fielding a bunt in the webbing of his glove then shuffling a strike to second baseman Donovan Solano covering at first.

"I kind of made that into a tough play because when he squared around to bunt I went to the third base line," said Buehrle, who won Gold Gloves from 2009-11 with the Chicago White Sox.

"Then I kind of gave up on it. Looked up and saw Carlos was playing back. Then I realized I had a chance on it and it just happened. I don't practice those plays. It's just something you're running to do it and you try to do whatever you can to get the ball to first."

Buehrle leads National League pitchers with 36 assists and is one of 21 starters with a 1.000 fielding percentage.

BY THE NUMBERS
24 -- Jose Reyes' hitting streak, a career best, going into Sunday. That's the fourth-longest hitting streak in Marlins history. Luis Castillo has the record at 35 games (May 8-June 21, 2002), followed by Emilio Bonifacio at 26 games (June 28-July 28, 2011) and Kevin Millar's 25 games (Aug. 24-Sept. 19, 2002). It's also the first 24-game hitting streak by a reigning batting champion since Wade Boggs hit in 25 straight games in 1987. He is the first reigning National League batting champion with a streak of at least 22 games since Stan Musial hit in 24 straight in 1952.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I guess that's the kind of year I'm going to have this year -- it was fun for seven innings, eight innings all of a sudden, woops, there we go again." -- Manager Ozzie Guillen after the Marlins blew a 6-4 lead with two outs in the eighth inning Saturday on their way to a 10-7 loss in Washington.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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