LaRoche sits for a second straight day

Adam LaRoche is out of the Nationals' lineup for the second straight day.

LaRoche, who has been dealing with some tightness in his back since late in the Nationals' series against the Marlins earlier this week, will not play in this afternoon's series finale against the Reds. Chad Tracy will play first base and hit in the No. 5 hole in LaRoche's stead again today.

With the Nats having a day off tomorrow, manager Davey Johnson likely wants to give LaRoche three full days to rest his back going into the Nationals' series with the White Sox, which starts Tuesday.

Tracy went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts yesterday.

Stephen Strasburg will get the ball for the Nats today, looking to build upon the seven scoreless innings he threw back on opening day against the Marlins.

The Nats will take their hacks against Johnny Cueto, the Reds right-hander who went 19-9 with a 2.78 ERA last season. Cueto allowed one run over seven innings in his first start this season.

For the Nats:

CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Chad Tracy
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Stephen Strasburg

For the Reds:

CF Shin-Soo Choo
LF Xavier Paul
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
RF Jay Bruce
3B Todd Frazier
SS Zack Cozart
C Ryan Hanigan
RHP Johnny Cueto

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