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Nationals’ lineup for the series opener with the D-Backs: Daniel Murphy returns

After splitting the four-game set with the San Francisco Giants, the Washington Nationals start a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight.

Washington Nationals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Daniel Murphy missed most of the last two games of the Washington Nationals’ four-game set with the San Francisco Giants in AT&T Park after tweaking his left leg, though he did make a pinch hit appearance in the series finale, striking out to end the game.

In 22 games in July, the 31-year-old infielder went 27 for 78 (.346/.372/.744) with 11 doubles, a triple and six home runs in 86 plate appearances.

On the year, the veteran second baseman, who signed a 3-year/$37.5M free agent deal with the Nationals this winter, has a .350/.389/.620 line, 31 doubles, five triples, a career-high 20 home runs, 21 walks and 41 Ks in 406 PAs.

As Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker explained it after the loss to the Giants on Sunday, the Nationals were taking a cautious approach with Murphy.

“We’re a different lineup without Murphy, but you either sacrifice today, or you sacrifice two weeks,” Baker told reporters.

“Imagine without Murph for a couple of weeks... so I was trying to use him in situation where he wouldn’t really have to run or beat out a double play, and so that’s why we were hoping to get him up there in a two-out situation, which we did.”

Asked if Murphy would return for tonight’s series opener in Arizona, Baker said simply, “Probably.”

Ryan Zimmerman was a question mark, however, after taking a fastball off the left wrist in the ninth inning of the finale with the Giants.

Zimmerman remained the game, but Baker said he wasn’t sure how the wrist would react.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It looked ugly where it hit him at. As replay has it, they were trying to say that it hit the bat.

“But there was a big old welt on his wrist, so I’m hopeful, if nothing else, he’ll probably be sore tomorrow.”

Zimmerman reportedly underwent tests on the wrist, but didn’t have any results when he spoke to reporters, including MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, after the game.

“It’s sore,” he said. “But, we just have to kind of wait and see with these things.”

Murphy’s back in the lineup tonight, but Zimmerman’s sitting in the first of three with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chase Field.

Here’s the Nationals’ lineup for the series opener in Arizona: