Bryce Harper avoided ligament tear in baserunning injury; no timetable for return

Bryce Harper avoided ligament tear in baserunning injury; no timetable for return

Bryce Harper avoided ligament tear in baserunning injury; no timetable for return

The Nationals are 14 games up on the Marlins in the NL East, and a long-term injury for Harper would obviously be a huge blow to the team's playoff chances.

The Nationals said Harper suffered a "significant bone bruise", but they are hopeful he will return to the field in 2017.

That caused Harper's leg to buckle as he went airborne before falling to the ground as his helmet went flying.

The game Saturday night included three former Virginia players on the rosters of the Giants and Nationals: first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Sean Doolittle of Washington and outfielder Jarrett Parker of the Giants.

It didn't begin until 10:06 p.m. after another extended weather delay, and it was raining when Harper lost his footing on a base that had water on it. Should the knee injury necessitate a trip to the disabled list, it'll be his first stint on the DL since undergoing thumb surgery in 2014. "We're just hoping for the best".

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija (7-12), who had won his previous three starts, gave up three runs and nine hits in six innings and threw a less than ideal 120 pitches.

Buster Posey and Hunter Pence will rest in Game 1 as Bruce Bochy goes left-heavy against right-hander A.J. Cole.

Manager Dusty Baker said Harper hyperextended his left knee and was scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday.

Washington scored two runs in the last of the first take a 2-1 lead even though Harper was injured in the process.

The injury to Harper opens up playing time in the outfield but would present a hard challenge if he's not ready by the start of the post-season. Harper clutched his left knee in agony as trainers came out to assist.

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