Span back in Nats lineup, Ramos starts again

PITTSBURGH - After missing yesterday's game with a sore right ankle/foot, Denard Span has returned to the Nationals lineup for this afternoon's series finale at PNC Park.

Span nearly fell to the ground when he woke up yesterday morning, the pain in his lower ankle area having intensified overnight. He got a day of rest yesterday and woke up this morning feeling much better.

He'll return to the leadoff spot and play center field.

Jayson Werth will miss his third straight game with left hamstring tightness, with Tyler Moore again getting the start in right field.

Wilson Ramos starts behind the plate for the second straight day today. Part of that decision might involve Jordan Zimmermann, who will start for the Nats on Tuesday. Zimmermann has worked with Kurt Suzuki as his catcher his last two starts, and he's allowed just three hits over 17 scoreless innings in that span.

It's possible the Nats just don't want to tinker with a good thing there. Regardless, Ramos starts today, and Suzuki sits for the second straight game.

Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 5.34 ERA) starts for the Nats today. He's 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Pirates and is looking to get back on track after allowing five earned, seven hits and five walks over four innings his last time out.

Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (2-1, 3.91) starts for the Pirates. He has thrown 13 2/3 straight scoreless innings here at PNC Park coming into today's game.

For the Nats
CF Denard Span

SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Tyler Moore
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos
LHP Gio Gonzalez

For the Pirates

LF Starling Marte
2B Jordy Mercer
CF Andrew McCutchen
1B Gaby Sanchez
3B Russell Martin
C Michael McKenry
RF Brandon Inge
SS John McDonald
LHP Wandy Rodriguez

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