|2013 Regular Season|
Harper might begin baseball-related activities in a few days.
Harper's first multi-hit game since April 27 comes after he was criticized for not making a crucial play in the outfield in Tuesday's 4-2 loss, a criticism he agreed with and took responsibility for.
Last season's NL Rookie of the Year was hurt last week when he ran into a wall at Dodger Stadium. Harper did some running and work on the field before the game against the Giants. Manager Davey Johnson said Harper told him he was fine to play.
The violent collision left the 20-year-old slugger with 11 stitches in his chin and a sore body. He says he feels "a little bit better" but that whole left side of his body is still sore. Harper is playing left field and batting third against the San Diego Padres.
Harper vowed to keep playing hard, but said he will learn how to avoid crashing into the fence with such force. He was set to sit out the remaining two games of Washington's series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And while Monday's exam didn't reveal a concussion, Johnson said the outfielder is likely to undergo more tests.
Harper was out of the lineup for twoconsecutive games after having an ingrown toenail removed. Harper had a procedure on his big toe Friday and sat out that night's game. Manager Davey Johnson originally said he expected Harper back in the lineup Saturday, but the toe is still tender.
Harper leads the club in homers (10), runs scored (21) and RBIs (20). It's hard to imagine where the Nationals would be without the 20-year-old phenom.
Harper was ejected by third base umpire John Hirschbeck for disputing a checked-swing third strike. "That's great. I'm glad I don't have to pay the $1,000. That's another $1,000 in my pocket, so that's good," Harper said. "That's Major League Baseball's decision and I respect that definitely and if I was to get fined I'd respect that, too."
Harper was tossed by third base umpire John Hirshbeck, who was called upon by home plate umpire Bob Davidson to help rule on Harper's attempted check swing. Harper then stood outside the box, stared at Hirshbeck before dropping his bat, prompting the ejection. It was the second of Harper's career.
Harper said he was diagnosed with a bruise under his left shoulder blade. Washington manager Davey Johnson said Harper is taking medication to relieve swelling. The 20-year star ranks among the top five in the National League in homers, batting average and assists.
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