Martinez on switching Zimmerman and Kendrick in lineup

Nationals manager Davey Martinez decided to tweak the lineup a bit for Saturday's second game of the series against the Diamondbacks and their 4-0 left-hander Patrick Corbin.

Center fielder Michael A. Taylor is back after just pinch-hitting in game one.

Kendrick-Blue-Rounds-Third-Henley-Sidebar.jpgBut the bigger eyebrow raiser was seeing Ryan Zimmerman moved up to the No. 2 spot and Howie Kendrick placed in the cleanup spot at No. 4.

"I kind of like it," Martinez said. "I've done it before with Joe (Maddon), moving guys around. Just kind of shaking it up a little bit. Howie is swinging the bat really well. I think Zim is hitting the ball hard."

Martinez went with the suggestion that placing Zimmerman at No. 2 might help the veteran see better pitches. But Martinez also likes the splits he sees for Zimmerman against Corbin, hitting .300 (3-for-10) with two RBIs.

"In theory, and also too he sees the ball really well off this guy today," Martinez said. "Just want to get him up there and get him relaxed a little bit. Just go up there and swing the bat. He was all for it.

"I talked to him last night. I always talk to these guys before I do things so they understand what's going on."

Martinez said it was never a big deal for him when he was moved around in the lineup, because after the first inning, it's just an at-bat in the game.

"It's funny when I played the way I thought about it after the first inning you are just a hitter," Martinez said." You come up some innings, third, fourth. That's the way I tried to explain it to them. After the first inning, just hit. You get up in different situations, just go up and hit."

But this also allows Kendrick to get a shot at the No. 4 hole. He is hitting .316 (6-for-19) with 5 RBIs against Corbin, and 12 of his 27 hits this season have been extra base hits: eight doubles, three homers. He went 3-for-5 with a double, a homer and two RBIs in the series debut last night.

"He's just a really good hitter," Martinez said. "He understands what to do, how to approach certain hitters. He's just a pure hitter. He really is. He doesn't try to do too much. He stays in the middle of the field. He puts the ball in play, which we need right now."

* Martinez had no new information on Adam Eaton and his recovery from a left ankle bone bruise that has kept him out of the lineup for 17 games since April 9. Eaton met with team doctors yesterday.

"Nothing. Still day to day," Martinez said. "I said it before, when we get Eaton back -- we can't wait -- but until then, we got what we got and I like the way these guys are playing. I really do. We just got to get that one big hit."

Martinez afforded the opportunity, when asked about Eaton and all the injuries, to give his pep talk on the rest of the lineup and what he expects from them going forward temporarily without the likes of Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Brian Goodwin as well.

"We talk about it every day but the efforts been there," he said. "I don't want them to press anymore. As you guys know in this game, the harder you try, doesn't always work out. So, I just want them to go out there and have fun."

* Right-handed relief pitcher Shawn Kelley went through light tossing during pregame Friday. Martinez said that is a very positive sign after Kelley left a game in San Francisco last week after feeling pain in his elbow.

"Yeah, he is (throwing)," Martinez said. "Surprisingly. I couldn't believe he was throwing but he's throwing. He says he feels fine. So that's good news."

Rickard arrives at Camden Yards
Opposite dugout: Angels flying low after quick tak...

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