Nats’ Harper exits with tight glutes; Strasburg scratched for Friday

The Washington Nationals will likely need MVP candidate Bryce Harper healthy all month if they are to make a postseason push, but he couldn’t even finish Wednesday’s game due to tight glutes.

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Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals was taken out of Wednesday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals before the bottom of the fourth inning with tight glutes.

Harper was 0 for 2 in the game, taking a called third strike in the first inning and lining out softly to second in the fourth.

Matt den Dekker replaced Harper in center field and was batting third for Washington, which was leading 2-1 when the NL’s leading hitter (.333 entering Wednesday) left the game. The Nationals won the game 4-3 behind Ryan Zimmerman’s two home runs and three RBI.

Also on Wednesday, the Nationals announced Tanner Roark will replace Stephen Strasburg (back) in the rotation Friday against Atlanta. Strasburg is scheduled for a bullpen session Thursday and could pitch as soon as Saturday