Harper homers in return to starting lineup

Harper homers in return to starting lineup

SAN DIEGO -- On Thursday, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper started his first game since Monday night and showed no ill effects after crashing into the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium.

Harper went 1-for-4 in a 6-2 victory over Padres and hit his 11th home run of the season. With two outs in the seventh inning, Harper swung at the first pitch from right-hander Tyson Ross and hit a monster home run over the center-field wall to increase the Nationals' lead to four.

The ball was hit an estimated 431 feet, the second longest hit at Petco Park, according to ESPN's home run tracker.

"The Padres pitched him tough. He hit a heck of a pitch -- a great sinker and he crushed it. It's nice to have him back," manager Davey Johnson said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.