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Nationals Harper Hampered by Left Hand Injury

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ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 13: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after being thrown out at second base in the 3rd inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on April 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 13: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after being thrown out at second base in the 3rd inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on April 13, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will be out of the starting lineup with a left hand injury for Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres, but available to pinch-hit.

Harper hurt his hand with a head-first slide into third base Friday night after hitting a bases-loaded triple in the third inning of Washington’s 11-1 victory. He stayed in the game for an inning before he was replaced.

Manager Matt Williams says Harper is available “off the bench for sure.” He says a hand specialist will look at Harper on Saturday.

“The early tests today are pretty good,” Williams said. “The X-rays are negative. There’s some swelling there. We just want to make sure we knock it out.”

Kevin Frandsen will take Harper’s place in left field on Saturday.

Harper went 2-for-2 and had had a career-high four RBIs on Friday night, giving him nine for the season as he lifted his batting average to .289. He has only one home run in 83 at-bats.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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