Harper has bone bruise, Nats hopeful he's back this season

Harper has bone bruise, Nats hopeful he's back this season

Harper has bone bruise, Nats hopeful he's back this season

Rizzo said the conditions, which included steady rain during the play "aided" in the injury but didn't blame Major League Baseball for going ahead with the game.

"He was in obvious pain and he was praying and I was praying, too", said manager Dusty Baker, adding that Harper would have an MRI. If Harper has that same injury, that would devastate the team's chances of reaching their ultimate goal of a World Series championship.

The Nationals now lead the Giants 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning. And they won't have a rested starter to take the ball on Wednesday. "He kept us in the game there", Bochy said.

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Harper was hurt about 20 minutes after the first pitch, which came three hours later than planned because of a storm that hit Nationals Park in the evening.

That caused Harper's leg to buckle as he went airborne before falling to the ground as his helmet went flying.

Right-hander Edwin Jackson (3-2) allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out five in six innings before giving way to Washington's newfound lockdown bullpen trio of Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle.

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Harper's loss will be felt by a team that is on pace to win 97 games yet will enter October as nobody's favorite because of the historic dominance that has happened at Dodger Stadium this season. Fellow outfielder Michael Taylor (right oblique strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move and will assume Harper's spot on the active roster for the time being. With a split doubleheader looming Sunday, the last thing these teams wanted was to start Saturday's game and lose both starting pitchers to a lengthy delay after two or three innings.

Harper is hitting.326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBIs in 106 games and 402 at-bats for the first-place Nationals. He is tied for the Major League lead with 14 two-strike home runs this season, and leads MLB with 12 first-inning longballs. Baker said he hopes that's not the case with Harper. "I'm very optimistic that he'll be at least fine shortly", Baker said.

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