Desmond returns, Werth DHing

After getting double-switched out of Wednesday's game in the fifth inning and missing yesterday's game due to back stiffness, Ian Desmond is back in the Nationals' lineup for tonight's game against the Royals.

Yesterday marked just the third game that Desmond has missed all season. His back originally tightened up on him during batting practice Wednesday.

Jayson Werth will serve as the designated hitter for the Nats tonight in their interleague matchup against Kansas City.

Bryce Harper will slide over and play right field, and Tyler Moore will play left as the Nats face veteran left-hander Bruce Chen.

Chen is 5-1 with an impressive 2.20 ERA in 26 games (seven starts) for the Royals this season. The Nats will counter with their own talented lefty - Gio Gonzalez, who is searching for his first win since July 10.

Gonzalez has gone 0-3 in his last six starts despite allowing more than three earned runs in an outing just once in that span.

Three of the eight position players in the Royals' lineup tonight are former Nats: Emilio Bonifacio, Justin Maxwell and Jamey Carroll.

For the Nats
CF Denard Span
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Bryce Harper
DH Jayson Werth
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
1B Adam LaRoche
LF Tyler Moore
2B Anthony Rendon
LHP Gio Gonzalez

For the Royals
LF Alex Gordon
1B Eric Hosmer
C Salvador Perez
DH Billy Butler
RF Justin Maxwell
CF Emilio Bonifacio
SS Alcides Escobar
2B Chris Getz
3B Jamey Carroll
LHP Bruce Chen

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