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Harper plays for Nats; Werth exits game

The SportsXchange

The Washington Nationals had their regular outfield back in place for the start of Thursday's game at Atlanta, but it didn't last.

Left fielder Bryce Harper (side/shoulder) and right fielder Jayson Werth (ankle/hamstring) were both out ailing Wednesday, but manager Davey Johnson was satisfied with what he saw in batting practice Thursday, so both started the series finale.

However, Werth was removed for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. There was no immediate word on the reason he left the game. Werth fouled a ball off his left ankle in the eighth inning in Monday's series opener, and he didn't play Tuesday and Wednesday.

Harper was back in action Thursday after X-rays on his bruised left shoulder found no structural damage.

The reigning National League Rookie of the Year had to leave Wednesday's game in the middle of the sixth after tweaking his sore left side checking his swing to start the inning.

"The checked swing got me," said Harper, who had suffered a contusion banging into the wall in Tuesday's game. "I couldn't breathe or catch my breath."
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