Harper homers his way back to the big leagues

WASHINGTON — With Bryce Harper rejoining the Nationals for their series opener against the Colorado Rockies on Monday (WFED 1500AM; 7 p.m.), it is worth taking one more look back at his final rehab game with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.

Harper showed that he has fully recovered from a left thumb injury he originally sustained in late April, going 4-for-5 Saturday with three home runs and five RBI as Harrisburg beat the Akron RubberDucks 10-4.

The game was not only a rare chance for the 7,418 in attendance at Akron’s Canal Park to see one of baseball’s best sluggers, but it was also a chance for play-by-play voices Terry Byrom (Harrisburg) and David Wilson (Akron) to call Harper’s first three-homer game, at any level, since turning pro.

“It was quite a display,” Wilson said in an email.

Click on the audio tab to the right to listen to Byrom’s call of Harper’s third home run on 1460 The Ticket in Harrisburg, in which he accurately predicts that Harper “may have just hit his way right back to the Nationals.”

Wilson calls all three of Harper’s home runs in the video below.

Harper’s three homers with Harrisburg on Saturday matched his entire total from a 37-game apprenticeship with the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate in 2011.

Harper suggested a few weeks ago that he had hoped to play in at least seven minor league rehab games before returning to the Major Leagues, but it seems that five games in the minors will suffice.

In those five games between High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg, Harper went 9- for-14 (.643) with five walks, four home runs, seven runs scored, 11 RBI, and two stolen bases.

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