Nationals OF Bryce Harper undergoes MRI on neck problem

WASHINGTON (AP) Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper has gotten an MRI for a neck injury that has sidelined the reigning NL MVP this week.

Harper was out of the lineup Saturday night for a fifth straight game when the NL East leaders played Atlanta.

''Bryce is day to day,'' general manager Mike Rizzo said. ''We haven't discussed disabled list with him today. He did have an MRI today and it was clean, so that's good news. He feels good about it.''

''He's got a stiff neck that's lingered on for five or six days. Hopefully, that's behind us now,'' he said.

Harper is batting .233 with 20 home runs and 57 RBIs. The Nationals want to give him every chance at returning before making a roster move involving the DL.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Harper was available as a pinch-hitter in Friday's 8-5 loss to Atlanta.

''Sometimes you have to wait until it lets you go,'' Baker said of the neck injury.

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