Welcome back, Bryce Harper.
The Washington Nationals phenom returned to the team’s lineup on Monday for the first time since May 26. In his first at-bat, he took the second pitch from Milwaukee Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo deep to right-center field. The home run was Harper’s 13th of the season and first since May 22. It gave him 24 RBIs on the season.
Harper was placed on the disabled list on May 27 with left knee bursitis. He went 4-for-11 in four rehab games and looks like he hasn’t lost anything. Prior to missing the five weeks because of his knee, Harper had hit 12 home runs in 44 games and looked like he could challenge Mike Trout for having the best 20-year-old season in MLB history. Trout missed the first month of the season last year because of a late callup, so the competition may now be even.
Harper’s presence in the lineup may have also given his teammates confidence; they scored five runs off Gallardo in the third. Harper even answered the fans’ request for a curtain call: