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

Instead, the Nationals and their fans will bemoan an injury star outfielder Bryce Harper suffered running out a groundball up the first base line. Harper had hit a ground ball to the right side and first baseman Ryder Jones made a lunging stop before racing to the bag. Washington (69-45) has a 14.5 games lead on the Miami Marlins in the National League East. If the injury is serious, that could also take a mental hit to the Nationals' club, or fuel their fire during Harper's absence.

Harper had to be carried off after not being able to put any weight on the leg.

Harper should be back by the end of the season, Rizzo said.

Harper entered the game ranked fourth in the NL in hitting (.326), fourth in on-base percentage (.419), third in slugging (.619) and second in OPS (1.034).

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Nationals' manager Dusty Baker announced after the game that Harper hyper-extended his knee and will undergo an MRI, according to MLB.com reporter Jamal Collier.

The San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals will play a split doubleheader on Sunday after their series opener Friday night was postponed. Forget the part where the Nationals haven't even won a postseason series since 1981, when they were the Expos, and how losing Harper was going to make that a much more hard hill to climb. The team didn't have an immediate update on Harper's status. "I'm very optimistic that he'll be at least fine shortly".

The start of the game was delayed three hours, one minute by rain Saturday and there was a light rain in the first inning.

The Nationals placed Harper on the 10-day disabled list with a hyperextended left knee. Pitching coach Mike Maddux said that Strasburg is likely to throw about five innings and 75 pitches in his first rehab outing. The Washington Nationals have tabbed veteran right hander Max Scherzer as the starter against the San Francisco Giants.

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