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Harper returns to Phillies’ lineup

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Bryce Harper hopes to change all those zeros soon. Naw, not the ones in his contract.

Back in the lineup two days after being hit by a pitch in the ankle, the Phillies newcomer with the $330,000,000 deal was hitless Sunday, leaving him with a batting average of .000 in spring training.

Harper is 0 for 8 in 14 plate appearances over five exhibition games.

His goal for the final week in Florida? “Definitely getting a couple knocks,” Harper said.

“I don’t want to leave spring without a hit but if that happens, then March 28, here we come,” Harper said.

That’s the day Philadelphia opens the regular season, at home against the NL East champion Atlanta Braves.

Harper returned as the designated hitter against the split-squad New York Yankees and went 0 for 3 with a walk. The star outfielder will play in a minor league game Monday, take Tuesday off and return to a major league game on Wednesday.

On Friday, Harper was hit in the right ankle by a 96 mph fastball from Toronto rookie Trent Thornton and left the game. The decision to let Harper play Sunday came after a pregame workout that included running and hitting.

“Felt good,” Harper said. “It was shocking I came in yesterday and not really any swelling, no bruising. Glad I was able to get out there and feel pretty normal.”

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