Lombardozzi in, Werth out, Desmond hitting cleanup

ATLANTA - As promised, Davey Johnson has made a few changes to tonight’s starting lineup.

Danny Espinosa has been benched tonight in favor of Steve Lombardozzi, who will start at second base and hit second.

Jayson Werth will miss his second straight game with a sore ankle/hamstring cramps, with Tyler Moore taking over in left and Bryce Harper manning right field.

Ian Desmond will hit cleanup for the first time this season, Adam LaRoche will hit fifth, and Anthony Rendon returns to the lineup playing third base.

Got all that?

Lombardozzi has two hits in three career at-bats against tonight’s starter for the Braves, Paul Maholm. Over his last 13 at-bats, however, Lombardozzi is hitless with three strikeouts.

Bryce Harper is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts off Maholm. Desmond has the best numbers off Maholm of any Nats player in the lineup; the Nats’ shortstop is 4-for-13 with a home run, a double and two walks against the Atlanta southpaw.

Werth probably was a bit steamed that he had to miss last night’s game given the success he’s had in his career against Braves starter Tim Hudson, and he might have those same feelings today. Werth is 10-for-30 with a homer and four doubles off Maholm in his career, but he’ll sit another day as he tries to rest his ailments.

Maholm is 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA against the Nats in his career, but he did throw 7 2/3 scoreless in a win in D.C. back on April 14. The 30-year-old allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven.

Jordan Zimmermann, tonight’s Nats starter, is 2-1 with a 3.81 ERA in five career starts against the Braves. He’s thrown two complete games in his last three outings.

For the Nats
CF Denard Span
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Tyler Moore
3B Anthony Rendon
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

For the Braves
RF Jordan Schafer
SS Andrelton Simmons
LF Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
C Evan Gattis
2B Dan Uggla
CF B.J. Upton
3B Juan Francisco
LHP Paul Maholm

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