Anthony Rendon's 0 for 3, one walk game last night in Miami left the 23-year-old infielder with a .297/.351/.449 line, 12 doubles and four home runs after 42 games and 172 plate appearances in his rookie campaign in the majors. Two years after the Washington Nationals made the former Rice University third baseman the 6th overall pick of the 2011 Draft, the hard-hitting infielder has laid claim to the starting job at second. Danny Espinosa was DL'd and optioned to the minors after he struggled to produce at the plate. Steve Lombardozzi's struggled in his second season as the Nats' utility man after an impressive campaign with the NL East Champions last season. Lombardozzi's also had a hard time finding at bats since Rendon took over at second.
Lombardozzi is, however, penciled in as the starting second baseman for the second game of three with the Marlins tonight in Marlins Park. It's the 24-year-old infielder's first start since June 23rd. Since then, Lombardozzi's 3 for 8 in random at bats when he's pinch hit or come on late to play defense. On the year in his second full season in the majors, the '08 19th Round pick out of Fulton, Maryland and St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida, has a .240/.253/.302 line with nine doubles and a triple in 71 games and 189 PAs.
Rendon is 4 for 16 (.262/.326/.500) with a double and a home run on the current road trip and 11 for 42 with a double and three of his four home runs since he was dropped to eighth in order by Davey Johnson on July 1st. He gets a rest tonight, but that's the only change the Nationals' skipper made. The Nationals managed just six hits and three runs in last night's 8-3 loss to the Marlins, who won for just the second time in seven games between the division rivals this season. Can Dan Haren and the Nats' lineup included below bounce back and beat the Fish to set up a rubber match in the final game of the season's so-called first half?
• Nats' Saturday night lineup:
Davey's Lineup, Sat. @ MIA/G94: Span cf Desmond ss, Harper lf, Zimmerman 3b, LaRoche 1b, Werth rf, Lombardozzi 2b, Ramos c, Haren rhp.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) July 13, 2013