Bryce Harper returns to Nationals' lineup following minor surgery

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper swings in the on-deck circle as he prepares to bat during the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Bryce Harper returned to Washington's lineup following surgery to remove an ingrown toenail, striking out twice and walking in the Nationals' 8-1 exhibition victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Stephen Strasburg pitched two innings in his first spring start for the Nationals. Coming off back-to-back 15-win seasons, Strasburg gave up a run on three hits and struck out two.

Houston starter Justin Verlander pitched three shutout innings and allowed two hits, while striking out five. Verlander has struck out nine in five shutout innings to begin Grapefruit League play.

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