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Werth banged up, scratched from lineup vs. Braves

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth was in manager Davey Johnson's original lineup for Monday's series opener against the Braves but was scratched about two hours before the first pitch.

Before that move was made, Johnson had suggested that Werth still was experiencing trouble with his groin. He exited Saturday's game in Milwaukee in the sixth inning after tweaking the muscle while chasing a pop fly but was back in the lineup on Sunday and went 2-for-3.

"Well, I was concerned," Johnson said. "He wasn't running that great yesterday. He ran pretty good after some balls in the outfield, but I think he was just being on the safe side with it. If he can go, I need him in there."

Werth pinch-hit in the eighth inning of Monday's 3-2 loss to the Braves and struck out. His status for Tuesday is uncertain.

"He got a lot of treatment during the game and he was swinging down in the cage," Johnson said. "He said he was fine for a pinch-hit. I was gonna have to run for him."

Werth also was hit by a pair of pitches on Sunday, one in the ribs and one on the knuckles of his right hand. X-rays taken Sunday were negative, but Johnson said Werth was experiencing some swelling.

Werth was named National League Player of the Month on Monday after hitting .367 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in July.

With Werth out, Johnson gave Steve Lombardozzi the start in left field. Scott Hairston was moved from left to right, with Bryce Harper in center.

Johnson said he wanted to give regular center fielder Denard Span a day off against left-hander Mike Minor while also taking the opportunity to get Hairston going. Span is hitting .151 against southpaws this season, while Hairston is 2-for-18 since the Nats acquired him from the Cubs on July 8, entering Monday.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff.
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