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Bryce back in Phils lineup to face Braves

@ladsonbill24
September 10, 2019

Bryce Harper, his right hand injured on Friday when he was hit by a pitch, returned to the starting lineup for Monday's series opener against the first-place Braves. Harper was in his usual right-field spot and batted third, going 0-for-4 with one strikeout in the 7-2 loss. Harper, who was

Bryce Harper, his right hand injured on Friday when he was hit by a pitch, returned to the starting lineup for Monday's series opener against the first-place Braves. Harper was in his usual right-field spot and batted third, going 0-for-4 with one strikeout in the 7-2 loss.

Harper, who was hit by a pitch by Mets left-hander Steven Matz on Friday, pinch-hit in Sunday’s game and contributed to the team’s 10-7 victory over the Mets at Citi Field on Sunday, having worked in the batting cage before the game and telling manager Gabe Kapler that he was available. So when the Mets intentionally walked Andrew Knapp to load the bases in the seventh inning, Kapler found the perfect opportunity to get his slugger a key at-bat. Harper battled Mets right-hander Tyler Bashlor for nine pitches before drawing a walk that sent Sean Rodriguez home for the 10th run of the game.

“I felt good in the cage and I let [Kapler] know that during the game,” Harper said. “If there was an opportunity to get some runs in, he would put me in.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.