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As Zimmerman enters, Harper exits
Suns' victory marred after top overall pick is hit by pitch
06/05/2011 9:09 PM ET
Ryan Zimmerman hit .307 with 25 homers for the Nationals last season.
Ryan Zimmerman hit .307 with 25 homers for the Nationals last season. (Joy R. Absalon/MiLB.com)
The Hagerstown Suns added a big name to their roster on Sunday afternoon, but also lost one, if only briefly.

Former National League All-Star Ryan Zimmerman began a rehab stint with the Nationals' Class A affiliate, but top prospect Bryce Harper left the game after being struck by a pitch in the first inning. The Suns went on to edge the visiting Greensboro Grasshoppers, 6-5.

Zimmerman, who has been sidelined by an abdominal strain since April 9, drew a two-out walk in the first inning to bring Harper to the plate.

On the first pitch, Harper was hit on the ankle by Greensboro starter Jheyson Manzueta. The 19-year-old fell to the ground and sat in the batter's box for a few moments before being helped to his feet by the Suns trainer. He limped back to the dugout but was later seen walking to the clubhouse with no difficulty.

"The medical staff is looking at it now and I'm sure it's nothing now," Suns manager Brian Daubach told the Washington Post. "But we will reevaluate when he gets back in the morning."

"He's good, he's fine," Zimmerman added. "I think it was more precautionary."

Wade Moore ran for Harper and the Suns went on to score four runs in the frame. David Freitas delivered a two-run double, followed by an RBI single by Randolph Oduber and a run-scoring double by Jason Martinson.

Zimmerman added an RBI double in the second and tripled and scored in the fourth. He was replaced at third base by Sean Nicol after five frames but will continue his rehab assignment with an eye toward rejoining the Nationals for their next homestand, which starts June 14.

Suns starter A.J. Cole (1-4), a 2010 fourth-round pick, recorded his first victory as a pro. The 19-year-old right-hander allowed two runs on four hits over five frames, striking out a career-high eight without walking a batter.

Wilson Eusebio fanned a pair over two scoreless innings to earn his second save.

The Grasshoppers battled back behind solo homers by Ryan Fisher and Isaac Galloway but fell a run short, snapping their three-game winning streak.

Manzueta fell to 0-5 after yielding six runs on seven hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three.

John Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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