Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/21/12

Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper returned to the lineup as a pinch-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday against the visiting Atlanta Braves after suffering a bruised ankle early in the first game.

Harper fouled a Ben Sheets pitch off his left foot while attempting to bunt in the first inning of Game 1. He was examined by the Nationals training staff and looked at by manager Davey Johnson before resuming the at-bat. He struck out swinging on the next pitch.

Harper went back to center field for the second inning, but Roger Bernadina took his place in the third.

An MRI between games showed nothing more than a bruise.

The 19-year-old All-Star then returned to the lineup as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Game 2. He singled and then stole second base, scoring on Danny Espinosa's single. Harper stayed in the game in right field in the ninth.

After losing the first game 4-0, the Nationals beat the Braves 5-2 in the nightcap.

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