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Nationals' lineup for the series opener with the Giants + Mike Rizzo on Bryce Harper

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Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker moved Bryce Harper to the two-hole for the two games with the Cleveland Indians in Progressive Field. Tonight in San Francisco's AT&T Park, Harper is batting second again with Trea Turner leading off...

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Heading into the upcoming four-game, long-weekend set with the Giants in San Francisco's AT&T Park, Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper is in the midst of an 0 for 17 stretch at the plate.

He went 0 for 9 in two games against the Cleveland Indians in Progressive Field.

The defending NL MVP is 14 for 79 (.177/.283/.329) so far in July, with four home runs, 11 walks and 17 Ks in his last 92 plate appearances, leaving him with a .237/.377/.453 line, 11 doubles and 20 HRs in 414 plate appearances on the year.

Dusty Baker moved Harper to the two-hole for the last two games.

When he recently tried Ben Revere there behind Trea Turner, he said he hoped that, "... with Trea getting on, they'd have to throw Ben primarily fastballs for fear that Trea might steal," though he also said, as quoted by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes, that there was some concern in moving Harper there, that with, "Turner batting first, he’ll still steal and then they walk Harper. So we’ll see how they play it, and how we do with it."

Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo was asked yesterday, in an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies what he saw going on with Harper at the plate, but he didn't have anything he could offer that could help the 23-year-old slugger emerge from what the hosts described as one of the roughest stretches they'd seen Harper suffer through when healthy.

"If I could, I would tell him and he wouldn't be struggling," Rizzo told The Sports Junkies on Wednesday.

"He's been in slumps before, I agree, this is as deep a slump as he's been in when he's been healthy. He'll fight his way out of it. There's no player I want up there with the bases loaded in a key situation than Bryce Harper.

"He's one of the great players in the game. I've got all of the confidence in the world when he's up at the plate. And I will continue to do so. It's only [a matter] of time, he's going to break out and the league is going to pay once he does and until he does we will patiently wait and watch his at bats and be supportive and uplift him and keep him positive."

Harper's batting second again tonight in the series opener with the Giants and right-hander Johnny Cueto.

Here's the Nationals' lineup for the first game of four in AT&T Park: