Na­tion­als’ of­fense lags with­out Harper

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY BEN­JAMIN STANDIG

The Na­tion­als’ of­fense did not muster much in the first game after Bryce Harper’s knee in­jury.

Chris Strat­ton struck out a ca­reer­high 10 in 6 2/3 shutout in­nings, and the San Fran­cisco Gi­ants beat Wash­ing­ton 4-2 Sun­day in the opener of a day-night dou­ble­header.

Harper has a sig­nif­i­cant bone bruise in his left knee but no lig­a­ment dam­age, gen­eral man­ager Mike Rizzo said. Rizzo said the Na­tion­als hope the star out­fielder can re­turn this season.

The 2015 NL MVP was in­jured Satur­day when he slipped on first base. Asked for his ini­tial re­ac­tion when he tum­bled, Harper said, “I don’t like wet bases.” His recovery time is not clear. Joe Panik had three hits, in­clud­ing a two-run sin­gle in a three-run se­cond that also fea­tured Gorkys Hernandez’s RBI sin­gle. Pinch-hit­ter Kelby Tom­lin­son added a sac­ri­fice fly in the eighth for a 4-0 lead. Strat­ton (1-2) al­lowed five hits and one walk in his fourth ma­jor league start, and Sam Dyson got three outs for his ninth save in 14 chances.

Wash­ing­ton did not ad­vance a run­ner to scor­ing po­si­tion un­til the sev­enth.

“I thought we at­tacked the zone pretty good to­day,” Strat­ton said. “I thought in the past I had nib­bled around a lit­tle bit, so I didn’t want to do that.”

An­thony Ren­don hit a two-run homer in the eighth against Hunter Strickland.

A.J. Cole (1-3) al­lowed three runs and six hits in six in­nings.

Fans loudly booed Strickland when he emerged from bullpen in the mid­dle of the eighth inning. The re­liever hit Harper with a pitch on May 29, lead­ing to a bench-clear­ing brawl and sus­pen­sions for both play­ers. “I said a stand­ing ova­tion was what he was going to get, so I was a lit­tle sur­prised,” Gi­ants man­ager Bruce Bochy joked. “But I’m sure that’s what he ex­pected there.”

The Na­tion­als re­called catcher Pe­dro Sev­erino from Triple-A Syra­cuse as its 26th player.

After a day off, the Na­tion­als host the Los An­ge­les An­gels on Tues­day in the start of a two-game series.

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