Espinosa out of Nats' lineup

PHILADELPHIA - A day after Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that all hands would be on deck until the Nationals clinched the division, Danny Espinosa is out of the lineup.

Espinosa got a cortisone shot in his aching shoulder last Monday and has played in all eight games (with seven starts) since then, batting .348 with two RBIs and three doubles.

His production has returned, and Espinosa told me yesterday that his shoulder was feeling fine. That all makes it a bit surprising that he's not in Johnson's lineup today.

The Nationals are facing Phillies righty Kyle Kendrick today, so it's possible Johnson would prefer to have Steve Lombardozzi (a switch-hitter who is stronger from the left-hand side) in the lineup.

We'll find out soon enough.

John Lannan, who has earned the victory in three of his four starts this season, will try and help the Nats snap a recent skid, as they've got 4-7 in their last 11 games. As I mentioned earlier, Lannan has struggled mightily against the Phillies in his career, and has really had a rough go of it at Citizens Bank Park, going 1-5 with a 7.06 ERA in seven starts here.

For the Nationals:

RF Jayson Werth
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Steve Lombardozzi
C Kurt Suzuki
P John Lannan

For the Phillies:

SS Jimmy Rollins
CF John Mayberry Jr.
2B Chase Utley
1B Ryan Howard
C Carlos Ruiz
RF Domonic Brown
LF Darin Ruf
3B Kevin Frandsen
P Kyle Kendrick

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