ATLANTA -- The beat goes on for Bryce Harper.
The Nationals' first-round Draft pick singled in the third inning on Thursday night to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.
Harper lined a single to right field off Delmarva Shorebirds lefty Cameron Roth as part of the Suns' three-run third inning. The Shorebirds would have the last laugh, however, winning the game, 6-3.
Harper raised his average against South Atlantic League competition to .395.
Harper, who went 4-for-5 with five RBIs on Wednesday night, is hitting . 512 over his last 10 games, with a 1.321 OPS.
Hagerstown, 22-12, is in second place in the SAL Northern Division. The Suns will open a weekend series with the division-rival Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park on Friday night.
Werth tearing it up at Turner Field
ATLANTA -- There are things in baseball you just can't explain.
Then there are things you don't want to explain.
Take Jayson Werth and his mastery of the Braves at Turner Field. The right fielder homered in each of the first two games of the three-game set and was hitting .348 all-time at Turner Field entering Thursday's game. (Only Brian Giles, at .366, and Barry Bonds at .352 have hit higher.)
That average took a slight hit, however, as he ended the night 0-for-5, with four strikeouts.
"I don't know. I don't want to know," said Werth, with a laugh before the game. "It is a good background. It's a flat background. There's something to be said about that, I think. But it's just one of those things. Although stats may not lie, they don't always tell the truth."
But they do when it comes to Werth and the Ted. He has 39 hits in his career here, with 15 of them going for extra bases (nine doubles and six homers), plus a .589 slugging percentage.
As the Nats' nine-game road trip winds down, Werth has hit in five of the last six games and driven in a team-high seven runs.
The Nationals have started to come around as well, having won three of four heading into Thursday night's finale and giving themselves a chance to start the weekend series with the Marlins above .500.
"It's good, especially the way the road trip started, getting swept in Philly," Werth said. "We've been playing better baseball. I still don't feel like we've been at our best for the season, but to be where we're at right now, to be without Ryan Zimmerman and to have not really played our best ball at times, it's a pretty good sign. Our best baseball's in front of us."
So are at least two more trips to Turner Field.
"I know that I've had success, but it's a pretty fragile word in this game," Werth said. "Things can change pretty quick. So just stay humble, and take it when you can get it."
Unfortunately for Werth, that will have to wait until mid-July, when the Nationals return to Turner Field play the first series after the All-Star break.
Werth remembers crime spree against Dodgers
ATLANTA -- You're not allowed to steal first in baseball, but after that, everything is fair game.
Prior to Thursday's series finale with the Braves, the rarity of stealing home was quite the topic in the Nationals' clubhouse.
On this date in 2009, while still with the Phillies, Jayson Werth proved that crime does pay -- at least on the basepaths -- against yet another former team, the Dodgers.
It started with Werth's one-out single off left-handed Dodgers reliever Will Ohman. One out later, on a 1-0 pitch to Jimmy Rollins, he stole second. After an intentional walk to Rollins, and with Raul Ibanez batting, Werth stole third on a 3-1 pitch, with Rollins taking second. Then, after Ibanez walked to load the bases, the Dodgers brought in right-hander Ronald Belisario to face Pedro Feliz.
After noticing that neither Belisario nor catcher Russell Martin was paying much attention to him, he waited until after a 2-2 pitch, and when Martin lofted his throw back home, he took off and beat Belisario's return throw to the plate.
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has his own theories about when to go, and probably would have been happy with the result of Werth's crime spree.
"Sometimes it's not too good a thing to do," said Riggleman. "You do it with two outs. That's when you do it. With two outs it might be worth a try, but with two strikes you can't do it, because if the pitcher throws a strike, the hitter has to take the pitch."
Basically, Werth would have broken both of Riggleman's rules.
The skipper recalled the one time in the Minor Leagues he stole home.
"It was really stupid, because the bases were loaded and I stole home," Riggleman said. "As the pitch came in, the pitcher and the catcher both kind of panicked playing the ball and fumbled it around, so I was safe. Otherwise I would have been out."
Riggleman also recalled being third-base coach at Cleveland when Omar Vizquel took advantage of Boston pitcher Rheal Cormier's excruciatingly slow delivery.
"I was saying something to Omar -- it had nothing to do with that," he said. "I stepped away, and boom, he's off. Everybody's yelling, 'Step off!' [Cormier] steps off, looks to second base, nobody else is on, and [Vizquel] went in standing up. No play. He didn't even make a throw.
"They showed it on ESPN, everybody thought I told him to go," he added with a laugh. It's a fun play to watch, but ..."
Veteran utility man Cora coming up big
ATLANTA -- There isn't much that Alex Cora hasn't seen or any place he's seen it in his Major League career.
The 2011 season is his 14th, and Washington is his sixth team. But one thing never seems to change with him -- his propensity to get the job done.
On Wednesday night it was as a pinch-hitter, with the bases loaded and one out, when he took a 2-1 fastball from Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel and directed it up the middle for a two-run, game-tying single.
In the 11th inning, with one out, he singled again, this time off reliever Scott Linebrink, and he scored an insurance run on Ian Desmond's double.
"He has a real calmness about his game, gives you a good at-bat," said manager Jim Riggleman. "The numbers won't really indicate how good of an at-bat he gives the ballclub. He makes the pitcher work, he doesn't try to do too much. Last night was a great example. [Kimbrel's] throwing 100 miles an hour, but he doesn't gear up and try to swing harder. He just goes nice and easy and tries to make contact, and found a hole. I think that's just indicative of the way he plays."
Riggleman recalled Cora's 18-pitch at-bat off Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Clement on May 12, 2004, which resulted in a homer.
"That was unbelievable. As we sat there and watched it, it was amazing," Riggleman said. "It was just pitch after pitch he was just fouling off. He probably only hit two or three home runs that year. To have that many pitches in an at-bat is extraordinary. But then to finish it off with a home run, I don't know if that's ever happened."
Riggleman raved just as much about Cora's defense.
"Alex has been playing for a long time," he said. "He's done it all. He's played everywhere on the field. No matter where you put him, you know he's going to do the right things, be at the right places."
That right place has been just about anywhere on the infield, as he's made 15 appearances (six starts) at third base -- where he started on Thursday -- five more (four starts) at short, two (one start) at second and even one at first base.
Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.