Morgan gets break; Bernadina starts in center

Morgan gets break; Bernadina starts in center

WASHINGTON -- With a right-hander on the mound in Florida's Josh Johnson, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman juggled his lineup for Saturday's game, giving center fielder Nyjer Morgan a rest.

With a stretch of 20 games in 20 days beginning Tuesday, Riggleman is wary of tiring out any of his players, even top-of-the-lineup catalyst Morgan, who is hitting .316 in his past 13 games.

"We have 20 in a row here, and everybody's going to get one, if not two [days] off. [It's] an opportunity to try to keep some other guys sharp," Riggleman said.

Shortstop Cristian Guzman replaced Morgan as the leadoff hitter and Roger Bernadina made his first start of the season in center, hitting seventh.

Bernadina may be getting more playing time, as the Nats optioned outfielder Justin Maxwell to Triple-A Syracuse after Friday's game to open a roster spot for Saturday's starting pitcher, Matt Chico.

Bernadina is hitting .227 (5-for-22) with one RBI in eight games.