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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 3 with the Arizona Diamondbacks in D.C.

Washington dropped the series opener with Arizona last night in the nation’s capital. Now they try to even things up in the second game of three with the D-Backs in Nationals Park.

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 with two walks and a strikeout last night in Washington’s 5-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the K in a big at bat in the home-half of the fourth when the Nationals loaded the bases with one out.

D-backs’ right-hander Zack Godley worked around Harper in his first two plate appearances, issuing the 33rd and 34th free passes of the season to the Nats’ 25-year-old slugger, which are the second-most walks in March/April in major league history, behind only Barry Bonds, who walked 39 times in March/April of 2004.

Godley didn’t have anywhere to put Harper in their third matchup of the night. He went at him, sort of, throwing four straight curves to get up 1-2. He went outside with a sinker that Harper chased to get the strikeout, then got a groundout from Ryan Zimmerman to end the threat in what was a 3-3 game at that point.

Harper left three runners on last night. Zimmerman went 1 for 5 with six left on base, with a single in his next-to-last at bat.

Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez was asked after the loss if Harper and Zimmerman were pressing with the Nats struggling while waiting for their injured everyday players to return to the lineup.

“I don’t think they’re pressing,’ Martinez said. “My big thing with Harp is, ‘Hey, take your walks. If they’re going to walk you, take your walks.’

“Zim has been hitting the ball hard. It was nice to see him — even though it was a cheap hit, but he got a hit after hitting the ball so hard all the time. They get it. We preach about being a better teammate, that’s part of it. Take your walks for the next guy, count on the next guy to drive you in, and Harper has been really good with that.”

Howie Kendrick, who went 3 for 5 with a two-run home run and a double in the loss, talked afterwards about continuing to grind out at bats like they have early this season knowing it will eventually work out in their favor.

Kendrick was asked if he and the other veterans on the team are taking it on their shoulders to get the Nationals going.

“No, you’ve just got to be who you are,” the 34-year-old veteran said.

“I don’t think you can change your game. You’ve just got to go out and play your game and hopefully that’s enough that day.

“We’ve got a lot of professionals in this locker room. Guys go out and put together good at bats, and just keep grinding it out and I think things will change for us.”

Will they change this afternoon in the second of three with the D-backs in D.C.?