Harper still out, Lombardozzi in left

ATLANTA - Bryce Harper is out of the Nationals lineup for the fifth straight game because of bursitis in his left knee, leaving manager Davey Johnson to again try and piece together an outfield alignment featuring multiple bench players and a batting order that includes multiple guys with batting averages below the Mendoza Line.

Johnson has opted to sit Tyler Moore for tonight’s series opener against the Braves, instead going with Steve Lombardozzi in left field and Roger Bernadina in right.

Lombardozzi (hitting .234 this season) will hit second, Bernadina (.154) will bat sixth and Danny Espinosa (.162) will be slotted in the No. 7 hole.

Johnson said yesterday that Harper might be able to return to the lineup today after getting a chance to rest his ailing knee earlier this week, but the Nats are opting to give Harper at least one more day to let the swelling in his knee subside.

For the Braves, Jason Heyward will lead off, Evan Gattis will play left field and B.J. Upton - who is batting just .146 on the season and is 1-for-8 in his career against Stephen Strasburg - will be on the bench.

This will be Gattis’ ninth game in left field this season. He caught 24 games with Brian McCann on the DL, but has gotten bumped out from behind the plate and into the outfield.

For the Nats
CF Denard Span
LF Steve Lombardozzi
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
RF Roger Bernadina
2B Danny Espinosa
C Kurt Suzuki
RHP Stephen Strasburg

For the Braves
CF Jason Heyward
SS Ramiro Pena
RF Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Evan Gattis
C Brian McCann
2B Dan Uggla
3B Chris Johnson
RHP Julio Teheran

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