Nationals’ Bryce Harper scratched with right knee soreness

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals scratched outfielder Bryce Harper from Thursday’s lineup with right knee soreness.

Atlanta reliever Dan Winkler hit Harper just below the right knee in the seventh inning of the Braves’ 8-3 victory on Wednesday. Washington manager Dave Martinez said X-rays on Harper were negative.

“We thought he was going to be OK,” Martinez said. “He was out there trying to get loose this morning, and just couldn’t get loose. It was pretty swollen. So rather than him trying to play through it, we thought the best option would be having him come off the bench if we need him.

“He’s going to stay in and get treatment.”

Harper, the 2015 National League MVP and a six-time All-Star, is hitting .234 with 28 home runs and 71 RBIs. He leads the NL in walks (88) and ranks third in the league in homers.

Michael Taylor replaced Harper in the lineup in center.

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