Harper's thumb keeps him out of lineup for 3rd straight game

WASHINGTON (AP) Bryce Harper is out of the Washington Nationals' starting lineup for the third straight game because of an injured left thumb.

With rain forecast, Nationals manager Dusty Baker did not want to risk the NL MVP in a wet outfield during Wednesday night's game against Arizona.

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos tore his right anterior cruciate ligament Monday after a rain delay. Ramos landed awkwardly after catching a relay throw at home plate.

''With the rain, you'd hate for his thumb to feel OK and then he gets hurt doing something else,'' Baker said. ''We already had that once already. Not that someone else is a sacrificial lamb, but since he's already injured, it would be better not to take a chance.''

Harper is batting .244 with 24 home runs and 95 RBIs this season.

Second baseman Daniel Murphy has not been in the starting lineup since Sept. 20 because of a strained left buttocks.

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