MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Harper, Span get breather due to injuries

Slugger dealing with hamstring soreness while leadoff man has back spasms

Harper, Span get breather due to injuries

PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper was not in the starting lineup for the second day in a row because of right hamstring soreness. He had an MRI on the hamstring and the results were negative, according to manager Matt Williams.

"He is better today, but [the hamstring] is still a little tight on him," Williams said. "We will keep him out at least another day and make sure he is good to go when he gets back in there. I don't want to take any chances for sure."

Center fielder Denard Span was scheduled to bat leadoff in an eventual 5-2 win over the Phillies on Friday, but he was later scratched because of back spasms. It marks the third time this year Span couldn't play because of his back.

After the victory, Span said the back wasn't feeling well, and he felt pain while attending a hitter's meeting before the game.

Span said he doesn't know why he has been experiencing the back spasms.

"As I stood back up to go to the cage, the back locked up on me," Span said. "... We have to figure this out. Every four or five days, my back is locking up. It's definitely not good. It's something I've never experienced."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats