Dukes gets day off against Yankees

Dukes gets day off against Yankees

NEW YORK -- Nationals manager Manny Acta decided to give outfielder Elijah Dukes the day off on Thursday afternoon against the Yankees because Dukes is 0-for-7 in his past two games.

Dukes is usually a patient hitter, but he has been swinging at pitches on the outside part of the plate for outs.

"He has been scuffling the last couple of games," Acta said. "It would be a good day to take the day off. He is a patient guy and pretty knowledgeable of the strikes zone. Right now, he is going after pitches that he is not used to. Obviously, this is the big leagues. When he chases, the pitchers are not going to make it easy for him to hit."

In Wednesday's game, it looked like Dukes hurt his leg in the sixth inning. He had a tough time chasing a double hit by Johnny Damon, but Acta said Dukes is fine and had a tough time picking up the ball off the carom near the right-field foul line.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.