Bryce Harper plays center field again, has two RBIs for Harrisburg

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper went 1-for-2 with two RBIs in Double-A Harrisburg's 4-3 win at Akron. He has now completed four minor league rehab games as he recovers from a surgery to repair torn ligament in his left thumb.

It was an eventful night for Harper on the basepaths. He stole two bases and was caught stealing in a rundown that allowed Michael A. Taylor to score the game's first run. Harper also earned a pair of walks.

Harper batted third and played center field. He told us at high Single-A Potomac this week that he prefers center field and he feels his at-bats are better when he plays in that spot. Not that it makes a difference because Denard Span is there, but it is still interesting.

His brother, Bryan Harper, pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn a hold. His ERA is 1.93.

Akron is home for two more games against Harrisburg this weekend. Harper could be activated sometime next week from the disabled list.

Right-hander John Simms made his Double-A debut in the same game. Simms went seven innings, allowing only four hits and one run, with one walk and three strikeouts for the victory. He had just been called up from Potomac.

Robert Benincasa notched his second save with a scoreless ninth.

* Right-hander A.J. Cole was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse. Cole was 6-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 14 starts this season Harrisburg. He has 61 strikeouts and 15 walks so far this season.

Monday's home game against Buffalo does not have a starter listed so that could be Cole's Triple-A debut. He last pitched June 22.

* Jeff Kobernus was the designated hitter and led off for Syracuse on Friday in a 6-0 loss to Triple-A Scranton. The Chiefs fell 6-0 getting only a Zach Walters double, their only hit, during the game.

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