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Posted at 08:47 PM ET, 06/02/2011

About tonight’s Nationals lineup

When Rick Ankiel returned from the disabled list, Manager Jim Riggleman decided he would divvy playing in left and center between Laynce Nix, Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel. With a left-handed on the mound tonight, Riggleman sat Nix despite his three homers in his last four starts.

Riggleman went with Ankiel in part because of his history against Diamondbacks starter Zach Duke – he’s 5 for 8 against Duke. In his career, Bernadina has had more success against lefties than Nix or Ankiel.

“You kind of look at the matchups,” Riggleman said. “I can’t put it down in stone that it’s going to be any particular way. I don’t want any of them to sit for too long. Certainly, Bernadina is a young player that we want playing a lot. So I’m just trying to get them in there the best I can without any of them getting too rusty.”

Meantime, Danny Espinosa will bat fifth, the second time in a row against a lefty he’s hit there. Before Tuesday, when he hit fifth against Cliff Lee, Espinosa had not hit fifth once in his career.

“It’s a product of how well he’s swinging and who else in the lineup,” Riggleman said. “He’s swinging a little better than some others right now, so we get him a little higher up in the lineup.”

By  |  08:47 PM ET, 06/02/2011

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