Bryce Harper hurts leg in Washington Nationals' win over San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Chris Stratton delivers a pitch during the first inning of the first baseball game of a split doubleheader against the Washington Nationals Sunday Aug. 13 2017 in Washington

Bryce Harper hurts leg in Washington Nationals' win over San Francisco Giants

Bryce Harper left the Washington Nationals' 3-1 win against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday in the first inning after slipping on first base, and it's unknown how much time he might miss. Jones reached the base first for the out, but as soon as Harper's left foot touched the bag, he went airborne.

Many of the Nationals fans who stayed around after a three-hour rain delay saw possible postseason hopes become bleak.

The San Francisco Giants lost a rain-soaked contest against the Washington Nationals on Saturday night, but it was the Nationals that took the bigger long-term hit on a rain-soaked evening in the nation's capital.

Harper clutched at his knee while on the wet field and put no weight on his left leg as he was helped off. Harper is slashing.327/.420/.616 on the season. Forget the part where the Nationals haven't even won a postseason series since 1981, when they were the Expos, and how losing Harper was going to make that a much more hard hill to climb.

After Giants' second baseman Joe Panik hit a home run in the top half of the first inning, Washington right-hander Edwin Jackson settled down and tossed six innings of five-hit ball to propel the Nationals to a 3-1 victory.

One of the leaders in the NL MVP race, Harper was hitting.326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI this season.

Fears were raised after his leg hyper-extension, but Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo revealed that there was no serious damage.

The Nationals are 45-43 when Harper is on the DL. Only moisture. The Nationals delayed the first pitch for a half-hour and had the field tarped under partly sunny skies because of an approaching thunderstorm.

Harper's loss will be felt by a team that is on pace to win 97 games yet will enter October as nobody's favorite because of the historic dominance that has happened at Dodger Stadium this season. "I'm very optimistic that he'll be at least fine shortly", Baker said.

Washington won the game 3-1.

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