- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

MIAMI (AP) - Ichiro Suzuki reached another hitting milestone but the Marlins couldn’t turn it into a win.

Suzuki’s two hits pushed him over the 2,900-hit plateau in a 7-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

“That’s just a tribute to such an outstanding Hall of Fame player that he is,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said.

Suzuki’s RBI double in the second inning was No. 2,900. He also singled in the fourth and is 99 shy from joining just 29 other players in the 3,000-hit club.

While Suzuki is toward the end of his likely Hall-of-Fame career, 22-year-old Bryce Harper seems to be on the right track toward his own.

Harper continued his MVP-caliber season, sending two home runs into the upper deck and driving in in four for the Nationals.

“I could remember when the kid came out a lot of people compared him to a young Mickey Mantle, that type of thunder,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said.

The 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick went 3 for 4 to raise his batting average to .335. He has 29 home runs and 68 RBIs, which are already career-highs.

“He did a lot of damage today,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

Michael Taylor also homered and drove in two for Washington.

Doug Fister (4-6) picked up the win, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings.

Harper’s first homer drove in three and came off of Tom Koehler (8-7) in the fifth inning, breaking a 2-all tie.

“Hank Aaron said it, it’s not how far, it’s how many,” Williams said.

Harper then led off the eighth by sending a first-pitch fastball from Sam Dyson deep to right field. It was his third multi-home run game of the season, first since hitting two against Atlanta on May 8.

“He’s got such a forceful, violent swing and he’s now learning to control that even more,” Jennings said.

Harper said he was happy about his two-homer night.

“But all in all, I’m just very happy to have our team back and this lineup back,” he said.

Koehler pitched six innings and allowed five runs.

Suzuki opened the scoring with his RBI double in the second.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (oblique strain) made his first rehab start on Wednesday with Triple-A Syracuse, pitching four innings and allowing three runs and four hits. He struck out five and walked one while throwing 44 of 64 pitches for strikes. … RHP David Carpenter (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 17. “He’s OK, it’s been a slowing process,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said. “He’s feeling better and we’ll work him back as quickly as we can, keeping in mind that we need to be careful.”

Marlins: RHP Henderson Alvarez underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum. Marlins manager Dan Jennings said all indications are that the surgery was a success.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer (10-8, 2.33 ERA) will take the mound in Thursday’s series finale scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. Scherzer is looking to bounce back after allowing five runs on seven hits including a season-high three home runs in a 7-5 loss at Pittsburgh on July 24.

Marlins: RHP Dan Haren (7-6, 3.51) could be making his final start with the Marlins as he has been the subject of trade rumors before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Haren is 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA in five starts in July.

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