After missing the entire month of June with a knee injury, Bryce Harper made his triumphant return -- no long-awaited return is ever untriumphant -- Monday against the Brewers.
As he stepped to the plate, the 24,000-plus in attendance at Nationals Park rose to their feet and gave Harper a standing ovation.
"Well, maybe he can pretend it's Opening Day and just homer his first couple of times up," MASN announcer Bob Carpenter remarked.
In his first at-bat (his first swing, too) since May 26, Harper launched the second pitch he saw from Yovani Gallardo into the visitors' bullpen in left field.
Harper became the second player in Nationals/Expos history to hit a home run in his first at-bat after going at least 30 days in between major-league games; Andre Dawson was the other in 1981.
Harper was actually the third player to accomplish that feat in the last two weeks as the Mets' Andrew Brown and the Mariners' Franklin Gutierrez did the same.
"Typical Bryce right there, he's all about the drama," said Jayson Werth, who drove in five runs in Washington's 10-5 win. "He didn't disappoint us, I guess."
As for Carpenter's request, Harper did not hit another home run in his next at-bat, striking out instead.
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