WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman filled out Tuesday's lineup card with Rick Ankiel in center field and Roger Bernadina receiving a precautionary day off.
But Bernadina replaced Ankiel, who exited in the second inning with a strained left intercostal (rib cage) muscle. Bernadina had two hits in three at-bats as the Nationals rallied to beat the Cardinals, 8-6.
Ankiel, who was listed as day to day, caught a routine fly ball from Cardinals third baseman Daniel Descalso for the third out of the second inning at Nationals Park but did not bat in the bottom of the inning. Bernadina singled against left-hander Jaime Garcia and remained in the game in center field.
"When he caught that ball in center field he just did something odd," Riggleman said. "He came back in and tried to swing the bat a little bit, and he said it really aggravated him. He just didn't feel he could let it go with the bat and if he did, he would really injure it. I won't play him tomorrow and then we'll see from there."
Ankiel spent time on the disabled list earlier this season after injuring his right wrist while making a diving catch.