Lerner on All-Star Game week: “It worked out beautifully”

Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner said having the 89th All-Star Game at Nationals Park has been an event he will never forget and he is very proud of the way the organization planned, prepared and executed the event.

“Incredible. I mean it’s just beyond my wildest dreams,” Lerner said during pregame Tuesday. “Glad that it worked out beautifully. It’s been a class event top to bottom. The years of work that our staff has put in shows. It has been great working with MLB. The commissioner is ecstatic. I think we hit an 11 on a scale of 10 on everything.”

Bryce-Harper-Derby-arms-up-sidebar.jpgLerner will especially remember Bryce Harper winning the Home Run Derby before the home crowd Monday night, 19-18, over the Cubs Kyle Schwarber.

“It was like a Hollywood script for an Academy Award winning performance,” Lerner said. “Who writes things that way? It was amazing. Nobody expected to be that (way), winning by one. The whole thing. It was great. I’m glad to see Bryce do it. I know how much he wanted it.”

Lerner hopes the emotional win for Harper, with his father Ron harper pitching, will be a jump start for the second half of the season. The Nats start the final 66 games of the regular season at .500, 48-48.

“Hopefully, it will give the team a little bit of a boost coming out of the break,” Lerner said. “We certainly need it.”

* Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman played seven innings for Double-A Harrisburg Tuesday night. He hit a home run in the first inning and finished 1-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. The Senators reported it was a 408-foot blast over the left field fence.

Senators manager Matt LeCroy said Zimmerman looked good at the plate and in the field.

“He had a lot of life and good at-bats. He moved down the line really well and made a nice play at first,” LeCroy told Greg Wong of the Senators. “He’s getting close.”

Manager Davey Martinez told reporters pregame Tuesday he expects Zimmerman to be activated for Friday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves.

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