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Bryce Harper of Washington Nationals has suspension reduced to three games


Major League Baseball has reduced the suspension for Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper by one game, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Harper, who originally received a four-game ban for his role in a fight with with Giants reliever Hunter Strickland, will start serving his three-game suspension as the Nationals face the Giants on Wednesday night, the source said.

Harper, who is tied for the National League lead with 15 home runs and has a .322 average and 41 RBIs, will be eligible to return Sunday as the Nationals finish off a series at Oakland.

Fox Sports was to first to report that Harper’s suspension had been reduced.

Strickland received a six-game ban for throwing a fastball at Harper during Monday’s game, which led to a bench-clearing brawl between the teams. He also filed an appeal.

Strickland hit Harper in the hip with a pitch in the eighth inning and the Washington slugger charged the mound, firing his helmet wildly before trading punches to the head with Strickland during the Nationals’ 3-0 win.

MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre’s explanation of the disciplinary decisions said Strickland intentionally hit “Harper with a pitch, inciting the bench-clearing incident and fighting” while Harper’s suspension came “for charging the mound, throwing his helmet and fighting.”

Each player also was fined an undisclosed amount.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, this will be Harper’s second suspension. His first was in May 2016, for confronting umpire Brian Knight.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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