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Nats trying to keep Murphy fresh for playoffs

Second baseman out of lineup with left leg soreness; Lobaton dealing with bum ankle
MLB.com @WashingNats

MIAMI -- Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy was given Monday off because of left leg soreness, according to manager Dusty Baker.

Murphy, who did not take batting practice at Marlins Park, entered as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the ninth and flied out with the potential tying run on to seal the Nats' 4-3 loss to the Marlins. He may get another day off Tuesday in order to be ready for the postseason.

Full Game Coverage

MIAMI -- Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy was given Monday off because of left leg soreness, according to manager Dusty Baker.

Murphy, who did not take batting practice at Marlins Park, entered as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the ninth and flied out with the potential tying run on to seal the Nats' 4-3 loss to the Marlins. He may get another day off Tuesday in order to be ready for the postseason.

Full Game Coverage

Murphy hurt the leg in the third inning on Saturday afternoon, when he tied Denard Span for the most hits (184) in a single season. The historic hit came with one out against Braves right-hander Josh Collmenter.

Murphy ties Span for single-season hits record

After sliding into second base for a double, Murphy took a long time to get up, and Baker and head athletic trainer Paul Lessard came to Murphy's aid, but Murphy stayed in the game.

"I told [Murphy] it would be good if he was given today off and maybe even tomorrow to get that [leg] well," Baker said. "If it just lingers, you are not going to get days off after tomorrow. You have to use this time to get it well. We do have a lead [in the National League East standings]. You are never comfortable with it, but we have to do it."

Murphy acted as if the leg injury wasn't a big deal. In fact, he said he is feeling better.

"There's a level of soreness I think everyone has after 145 ballgames. I think I may be experiencing some of that," Murphy said.

Worth noting
Baker was looking to start catcher Jose Lobaton this past Saturday, but Pedro Severino received the nod instead. As it turned out, Lobaton is dealing with an ankle injury. It's not known when he will return to action. Baker said he wants to get Lobaton ready for the postseason.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Washington Nationals, Daniel Murphy