SALISBURY, Md. - Bryce Harper's night at the Strike Out Hunger South Atlantic League All-Star Game is over. The Nationals' top prospect finished 0-for-2 with an RBI, yielding right field to Greensboro's Christian Yelich after lining out on the first pitch of the bottom of the fourth inning.
Harper, who drove in the game's first run with a groundout, picked on the first offering from Savannah's Chase Huchingson and sliced a rising liner that shortstop Jiovanni Mier of Lexington reached to glove.
The early exit was not unexpected. Harper has been troubled by a sore left thumb that caused him to miss the final two games of low Single-A Hagerstown's first half and he was pulled from a scheduled appearance in the pregame home run derby because of the injury.
We're now through the fifth inning with the Southern Division leading the Northern Division 6-2. Augusta's Adam Duvall and Savannah's Cory Vaughn both hit two-run homers in the third inning off Hickory's Roman Mendez.
Third baseman Blake Kelso and catcher David Frietas - the two other Hagerstown players and Nats farmhands who were in the starting lineup - are also out of the game. Kelso went 1-for-2 while Frietas finished 0-for-2.
Because right-hander Taylor Jordan, who pitched June 18, won't pitch tonight, the only remaining Hagerstown player who hasn't yet gotten into the game is lefty Chris Manno, who could still work in relief.