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Phillies hope Bryce Harper returns vs. Braves

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Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper was hit in the hand by a pitch in the third inning of Friday’s series opener against the Mets. He initially stayed in the game to run the bases but didn’t take his position in right field for the bottom half of the third. Harper sat out Saturday and Sunday against the Mets, but the Phillies are hoping he will be well enough to return for the start of a four-game series at home against the Braves on Monday, MLB.com’s William Ladson reports.

Harper, 26, is hitting .254/.372/.497 with 30 home runs, 100 RBI, and 86 runs scored in 600 plate appearances this season. His rate stats are slightly under his career averages but has overall had a solid first season with the Phillies after signing a 13-year, $330 million contract in February.

Adam Haseley has handled right field while Harper has been on the bench, with Scott Kingery controlling center field. If Harper needs to sit out longer, that configuration will continue.

Update: Shortly after this was posted, Harper pinch-hit in the top of the seventh inning, drawing a bases-loaded walk. He swung the bat five times in his at-bat, missing twice and fouling three pitches off.

Dale Murphy’s son hit in eye by rubber bullet during protest

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Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy took to Twitter last night and talked about his son, who was injured while taking part in a protest in Denver.

Murphy said his son nearly lost his eye after he was hit in the face by a rubber bullet while peacefully marching. He later shared a photo (see below). “Luckily, his eye was saved due to a kind stranger that was handing out goggles to protestors shortly before the shooting and another kind stranger that drove him to the ER,” Murphy said.

Murphy had far more to say about the protests, however, than how it related to his son:

“As terrible as this experience has been, we know that it’s practically nothing compared to the systemic racism and violence against Black life that he was protesting in the first place. Black communities across America have been terrorized for centuries by excessive police force . . . If you’re a beneficiary of systemic racism, then you will not be able to dismantle it at no cost to yourself. You will have to put yourself at risk. It might not always result in being physically attacked, but it will require you to make yourself vulnerable.”