Nationals' Harper leaves game with knee injury

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper grabs his knee after he was injured running to first during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Saturday Aug. 12 201

Nationals' Harper leaves game with knee injury

Harper has been on the disabled list only twice in his career: In 2013, he missed 31 games with left-knee bursitis, and in 2014, he missed 57 games after having surgery on his left thumb.

When Harper left the box, first baseman Michael Morse raced in from the corner of the infield while pitcher Jeff Samardzija sprinted over from the Giants' dugout. Harper has been relatively healthy this season and missed just three days with mild groin soreness back in May. The 28-year-old Virginia native had a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning on Wednesday, leading San Francisco to its fourth win in five outings with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs. "He's going to get an MRI", Baker said. 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' best hope is that Harper sustained nothing beyond a hyperextension. He is among the National League's leaders in batting average, home runs and RBIs this season.

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.

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper second from right is helped off the field after he was injured during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Saturday Aug. 12
Nationals' Harper leaves game with knee injury

Harper suffered a hyper-extended knee, according to Washington manager Dusty Baker.

OUR PREDICTION: The Giants have lost four straight meetings with the Nationals, have dropped five of six games in D.C., and are just 1-5 in their last six road games versus a team with a winning home record.

The start of the game was delayed three hours, one minute by rain Saturday and there was a light rain in the first inning. Baker said Bochy was the first one to call him when he was sacked by Cincinnati, and Baker called in April when Bochy had a heart procedure. "I'm very optimistic that he'll be at least fine shortly", Baker said. It was unclear why Major League Baseball did not push Friday's postponed game to Saturday afternoon, when the skies were clear. And they won't have a rested starter to take the ball on Wednesday. The good thing is he's young and strong.

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