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Nationals’ Bryce Harper leaves game with minor injury/issue, stiff neck...

Washington Nationals’ slugger Bryce Harper has been dealing with a stiff neck, so Dusty Baker took him out of the game late in the Nats’ loss to the San Francisco Giants.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After last night’s win over the San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker was talking about the positive signs he’d seen from Bryce Harper, who lined a few balls around the yard in the nation’s capital.

After tonight’s 7-1 loss to the Giants, Baker talked about his decision to lift Harper for precautionary reasons after the struggling, 23-year-old, defending NL MVP went 0 for 3 with three Ks against Matt Cain and showed signs that a neck issue was affecting him.

“He’s okay,” Baker explained.

Asked how it happened, Baker said, “You can wake up in the morning and it’s an issue. He’s been dealing with this for couple days. I think it’s the second day, so I decided to take him out of the game.”

“I’ve been having it for a couple days now,” Harper explained. “Been bothering me, but tonight [Baker] came up to me in the seventh inning and just gave me the night off, said, ‘Hey, just get you out of there,’ hopefully get some treatment on that and feel better tomorrow or Tuesday and see where we’re at.”

Harper was asked if it was particularly bothersome when he was swinging, considering he had to take a moment after a particularly aggressive swing and miss.

The Nats’ team trainer visited Harper at the plate after he bent over at the waste following the swing, but he stayed in the game for a while before Baker made the switch.

“I think it’s an all-around thing,” Harper said. “I think just coming in here today, tried to free it up a little bit more. It didn’t happen very much, but felt good enough to go, and of course you want to be in that lineup every night, just tough right there.”

• We talked about Harper’s neck issue, Stephen Strasburg’s struggles vs the Giants and more on Nats Nightly after the game: