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Washington Nationals’ lineup vs Los Angeles Angels: It’s Howie Kendrick’s world...

Howie Kendrick took over atop the Nationals’ order last night, and the veteran infielder/outfielder hit two home runs in the 3-1 win over the Angels.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Goodwin is just the latest Washington Nationals’ outfielder to go down with an injury. “He just had a little tightness in his leg, in the groin,” Dusty Baker said Sunday.

“So we didn’t want to take any chances. So, they’re working on him now, they’re going to evaluate it. It’s getting tough, I’m glad we got bodies and quality players.”

Baker was asked for an update before Tuesday’s matchup with the LA Angels, but he said not much had changed since he last spoke to reporters.

“It’s only been one day,” Baker explained, “I haven’t talked to my trainer about it but I know he can’t — unless he’s found some miracle drug it’s probably the same, because he’s not dressed today, so I haven’t had an opportunity to really talk to him.”

Baker said he didn’t know then if Goodwin too would end up on the Disabled List?

“Once we decide after a couple days, i mean you’ve got to wait a couple days to see the severity of it, and see if there’s any — how much swelling is in there, and so — you guys really like asking about that DL, and I’m trying to avoid that DL for my guys. We’ve used that DL a lot, so I’m hoping not.”

[ed. note - “We wrote the intro above last night since there’s a day game today (1:05 PM EDT in D.C.), and Goodwin has since been placed on the 10-Day DL with a left groin issue.”]

Goodwin had been leading off for the Nationals over the last six weeks, but without the 26-year-old outfielder available, Baker went with Howie Kendrick atop the order against the Angels in the first of two with LAA in the nation’s capital.

Kendrick went 2 for 4 with two home runs, accounting for two of the three runs the Nats scored in their 3-1 win last night.

Baker talked after the game about what Kendrick has meant to the Nationals since he was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies before the non-waiver deadline.

“He’s very important,” the skipper said. “We knew Howie — he’s been an everyday player most of his career, and he doesn’t complain. He stays in the game. He keeps the guys up on what’s happening in the game, and Howie is willing to do anything and play almost anywhere, and he’s hit all over the lineup, and when Goody went down — I asked [Kendrick] if he’d lead off today.

“And I knew he had some, but he said he batted leadoff a lot with the Angels, and so that’s why I inserted him in the leadoff spot today.”

Kendrick is back atop the order and playing right field in the Nationals’ lineup for the second of two games in D.C. this afternoon. Though he’s played left and center before in the majors, this will be Kendrick’s first big league start in right field.