Denard Span was originally penciled in as the Washington Nationals' center fielder and leadoff man for last night's matchup against the Miami Marlins in Marlins Park, but the 29-year-old outfielder was scratched with groin tightness before the start of the game.
September call-up Corey Brown, 27, who put together a .254/.326/.473, 26 double, 19 HR, 107 game, 438 plate appearance, injury-shortened season at Triple-A Syracuse, took Span's place in center and atop the order and went 0 for 3 with a K against Fish hurler Jose Fernandez, who allowed just one hit total in seven scoreless in Miami's 7-0 win in the series opener with the Marlins' NL East rivals from the nation's capital.
Span, according to Nationals' manager Davey Johnson, may to wait another day to attempt to extend his career-long 17-game hit streak. Span's streak is the longest by any Nats' hitter this season with the last two hits putting him ahead of Ian Desmond (15 G) and Adam LaRoche (16). Desmond had a .404/.433/.579 line with four doubles and two home runs in 60 plate appearances over the course of his 15-game hit streak which lasted from May 27th to June 13th.
LaRoche went on a tear after breaking down his swing with former teammate Chipper Jones in early May and put up a .382/.462/.636 line with two doubles and four home runs over 65 plate appearances from the 2nd of May through the 19th. Span started his streak with a 3 for 5 game against the Braves on August 17th. Over his last 77 PAs, Span has put up a .406/.453/.551 line with three doubles, two triples and a home run over his last 17 games.
Span told reporters on Friday night in Miami that the groin had been bothering him since the series in Philadelphia earlier this week which saw Washington take two of three from the Phillies on the road in Citizens Bank Park. He's day-to-day for now. Davey Johnson told reporters after the loss to the Marlins that he wasn't sure if Span would be available in the second game of three in the weekend series on Saturday night.
"I think he's better," Johnson said. "I haven't had a chance to check on him, but he's going to be iffy for tomorrow."
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