Jul 23, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) steals second base safely as Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (18) cannot make the tag in the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Harper and Desmond Sit In Game Three Against Pirates


The Nats have dropped to 0-5 since the All-Star break, and are freefalling wildly. They have scored eleven runs in those five games, so it’s not like any changes could make anything worse. This appears to be the strategy behind tonight’s lineups, as the Nats’ two best hitters, Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond, will sit with minor ailments. With them sitting, Anthony Rendon will make his first career professional start at shortstop, with Steve Lombardozzi at second and Scott Hairston in left. The Nats will start Stephen Strasburg (5-7, 2.97), who gave up just two runs in seven innings in his last start against the Dodgers, while the Pirates send out Francisco Liriano(9-4, 2.44), who has been excellent this year but gave up five runs in 4.1 IP in his last start against Cincinnati. Here are tonight’s lineups:

Washington

Hairston LF

Rendon SS

Ryan Zimmerman 3B

Adam LaRoche 1B

Jayson Werth RF

Wilson Ramos C

Denard Span CF

Lombardozzi 2B

Strasburg RHP

Pittsburgh

Starling Marte LF

Neil Walker 2B

Andrew McCutchen CF

Pedro Alvarez 3B

Garrett Jones 1B

Travis Snider RF

Michael McKenry C

Clint Barmes SS

Liriano LHP

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Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Nationals