Espinosa plays despite bone bruise in shoulder

Espinosa plays despite bone bruise in shoulder

WASHINGTON -- Two days after it was revealed that he suffered a bone bruise in his left shoulder, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa was hitting seventh against the Dodgers in Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader.

Before the game, Espinosa took batting practice with hitting coach Rick Eckstein observing. After the session ended, Espinosa and Eckstein spoke to manager Davey Johnson, who was convinced by Eckstein that Espinosa was ready to play.

"Eckstein said, '[Espinosa] looks good. He looks like his old self,'" Johnson said. "I said, 'He is only going to play one [game of the doubleheader] for me.' [Espinosa] turned around and said, 'Keep an open mind after I play the first one.' So, we'll see."

Espinosa went 2-for-4 in the first game and played spectacular defense, making a pair of diving plays in the 3-1 win.

Steve Lombardozzi started at second base in the second game.

At first, general manager Mike Rizzo thought the injury was a lot worse than expected, because it's rare when Espinosa reveals that he is injured.

"To have this guy even mention it at all, it kind of made me anxious, because he is as tough as they come," Rizzo said. "He is as old-school as they come. For him to mention it and suggest that he doesn't want an at-bat, it kind of alarmed me a little bit."