Bryce Harper slugs three home runs at Double-A, expected to return to Nationals on Monday

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Bryce Harper sure seems excited to return to the Nationals’ active roster after missing the past two months following April 29 surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

The 21-year-old outfielder went 4-for-5 with three home runs and five RBI on Saturday night at Double-A Harrisburg, helping the Senators to a 10-4 rout of the Indians’ Eastern League affiliate. Harper is now 9-for-14 (.643) with four homers, a double, and 11 RBI on his five-game minor league rehab assignment.

James Wagner of the Washington Post heard from a source Saturday that Harper will be activated from the disabled list in time for Monday’s series-opener against the Rockies. The Nationals are off Sunday after playing a doubleheader at Wrigley Field on Saturday to accommodate the 45th annual Chicago Pride Parade.

Washington (43-38) is in a tie with Atlanta (43-38) at the top of the National League East standings.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched shortly after his mother passed away on Monday

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Athletics reliever Yusmeiro Petit found out his mother passed away on Monday prior to his team’s game against the Rangers, Martin Gallegos of The Mercury News reports. Petit decided to pitch anyway, turning 1 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, limiting the Rangers to just one hit.

Manager Bob Melvin said, “I was amazed. Didn’t expect it.”

It’s admirable — though certainly not expected — when a player pitches shortly after suffering a personal loss. Some people like adhering to their routine while grieving.

Petit was added to the bereavement list on Tuesday. He will spend some time away from the team for the funeral. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Petit family.