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Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond leaves game with lower back tightness

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Washington Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond was 1 for 3 with an RBI single Tuesday night in the second game of three with the Atlanta Braves, but he left the game after five innings with what Matt Williams said was tightness in his lower back.

Patrick Smith

Washington Nationals' shortstop Ian Desmond was 1 for 3 Tuesday night, with an RBI single the first time up tonight and two Ks in the ABs that followed before he left the second game of three with the Atlanta Braves after five innings.

Danny Espinosa took over at short in the top of the sixth and immediately committed an error that put Braves' second baseman Phil Gosselin on. Two at bats later, Justin Upton hit a two-run home run that got Atlanta within two runs at 6-4.

"He's got a little low back tightness, but I anticipate he'll be fine. We'll have to check him tomorrow to see how he feels." -Matt Williams on Ian Desmond's back issue

Desmond was 6 for 19 five games into the current homestand when he was lifted in his 139th game of the season.

"He's got a little low back tightness," Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters after the game, "but I anticipate he'll be fine. We'll have to check him tomorrow to see how he feels. But there's no big issues, he's just a little tight in his lower back, and he let me know and we got him out of there."

Williams said he was aware of an issue with Desmond's back before the game, but it got worse as the second game of three with the Braves went on so he made the decision to go with Espinosa.

"He had felt it a little bit today," Williams explained. "He figured it would loosen up during the game, but it actually got a little bit tighter on him. So we decided to get him out of there, but I don't think it's anything serious, I think he'll be fine, we just have to monitor it. He's played a lot of games this year."

Desmond told reporters he didn't think it was an issue that would keep him out of the series finale with Atlanta: