Harper returns to Nats lineup, so does Desmond (updated)

Bryce Harper is back in the Nationals' lineup today after getting yesterday off to rest his left knee, which he received treatment on recently.

Ian Desmond, however, is not in the Nats' lineup for the second straight day.

Desmond had hoped to receive a special patch today that he could put on top of the blister that's on his left palm, but the patch wasn't able to arrive this morning. As a result, Desmond will sit out another game and manager Davey Johnson hopes to have his shortstop back in the lineup for at least one of the Nats' games in tomorrow's doubleheader against the Mets.

Update: The Nats have just announced that Desmond will, in fact, play today. He's been added to the lineup, playing short and hitting sixth.

Steve Lombardozzi will play second and hit second, with Anthony Rendon getting a day off.

The Nats will sent Gio Gonzalez (7-3, 2.89 ERA) to the mound today as they hope to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Pirates. Pittsburgh will send right-hander A.J. Burnett (4-7, 3.07), who held the Nats to one run over seven innings and struck out nine in a win at PNC Park back on May 3.

Updated Nats lineup
LF Bryce Harper
2B Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
CF Denard Span
C Kurt Suzuki
LHP Gio Gonzalez

For the Pirates
LF Starling Marte
2B Jordy Mercer
CF Andrew McCutchen
C Russell Martin
3B Pedro Alvarez
1B Gaby Sanchez
RF Josh Harrison
SS Clint Barmes
RHP A.J. Burnett

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