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Desmond out of lineup, Zimmerman stays in left

WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Matt Williams gave shortstop Ian Desmond the day off for the series finale against the Phillies on Thursday afternoon because of general soreness following Wednesday's night's 8-4 win, which featured a 1-hour, 48-minute rain delay.

Second baseman Danny Espinosa moved to shortstop to replace Desmond, while typical third baseman Anthony Rendon moved to second base. Ryan Zimmerman remained in left field for his third straight game and infielder Kevin Frandsen started at third base.

"Hopefully, it won't be too long that Anthony may have to play second base," Williams said. "That would mean that Harp's back."

Williams said Zimmerman is still an option at third base, but it's important to be mindful of his recently healed thumb and throwing shoulder.

"If he came back into third base, he's been doing it a long time, it's not like it's going to be foreign," Williams said. "At some point, he's going to be back in there."

Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for He also can be found on Twitter @danielrpopper.
Read More: Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, Anthony Rendon