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Harper-less Nats lose doubleheader opener to Giants 4-2

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

Chris Stratton struck out a career-high 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.

"Ten days or two weeks is a lot better than thinking the whole season and the postseason," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Harper is batting .326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI this season.

"I thought to myself, It's 10 o'clock at night and we're playing a game in the rain, so I was really upset about that, as well. It's just a freak accident, freak situation. I think (the season) flashed before your eyes and you realize there's nothing you can do," Harper said. "I think we got the best possible news that we could."

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.

Max Scherzer (12-5) was to start the second game for the Nationals and Matt Moore (3-12) for the Giants in a makeup of Friday night's rainout.

JEERS

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."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: INF Orlando Calixte was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento as San Francisco's 26th player.

Nationals: OF Michael Taylor was activated from the 10-day DL after missing 29 games with a right oblique strain. ... RHP Stephen Strasburg (elbow nerve impingement) is scheduled to throw five innings during a rehab start Monday for Class A Potomac. The All-Star has been sidelined since leaving his July 23 start at Arizona after two innings. ... Washington recalled C Pedro Severino from Triple-A Syracuse as its 26th player.

UP NEXT

Giants: LHP Ty Blach (8-7) starts Monday's series opener at Miami.

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

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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