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Washington Nationals’ lineup for 2nd of 3 with San Diego Padres in D.C.

Davey Martinez and Co. try to even things up with the Padres after last night’s loss in Nationals Park.

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Luis García tweaked his knee, and though he was pencilled into the Nationals’ lineup for the series finale with the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field, he was scratched late, but returned to play in last night’s series opener with the San Diego Padres in Washington, D.C., going 2 for 3 before he was lifted with another issue.

This time it was a groin issue for the 22-year-old infielder.

“He got a little bit of a groin tightness, so we’re going to get him an MRI scheduled for the morning, see what’s going on,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters after last night’s 10-5 loss in the nation’s capital. “I thought it was his knee, but he said it was his groin, so I wanted to take him out and make sure that he’s okay.”

But the issue the other day in Chicago was García’s knee.

“The other day it was his knee, yeah, yeah, yeah, so this is something new,” the manager explained.

“When you’re talking about the groin area, you don’t want to push it, especially when you’re playing the middle of the infield.”

García has been on a nice run at the dish, going 18 for 55 (.327/.345/.509) with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs in his last 15 games, but before he was done last night, he made another costly mistake (not an error exactly).

García’s going to move over to second base when/if newly-acquired shortstop C.J. Abrams is called up from Triple-A Rochester according to his manager, after struggling at times with throws and decision-making at his natural position of shortstop this season.

Last night, with a runner on first and one out, García fielded a grounder up the middle, but quickly realized with the Nationals’ defense shifted to the right, no one was going to get to second in time, so he ran towards the bag, but it was going to be a close play, so he threw to first before touching second base, and the throw arrived late, so he didn’t get either out, and one out later a three-run home run blew the game open.

“He never touched the base,” Martinez said after the loss. “He threw the ball without touching a base, at that particular moment you’ve just got to get an out. Right? He was thinking two, but he never touched the base.”

Martinez said García’s teammates let him know the same.

“Well, he knew, and I think his teammates got him and said, ‘Just get an out in that situation.’ That was a costly error, I mean it cost us a bunch of runs after that.”

Is García getting a night off tonight after the knee and groin tweaks this week?

“He’s got a little bit of a strain in his left groin. So he’s going to be day-to-day,” Martinez said in his pregame press conference this afternoon, though he said García could pinch hit later if needed.