Bryce Harper. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post) Bryce Harper. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

In the midst of a five-game losing streak, Bryce Harper is getting the day off against Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano. Manager Davey Johnson had said on his radio show on Wednesday morning that he wanted to rest Harper. As a result, Scott Hairston is leading off and starting in left field.

Harper has scuffled against left-handers this season and is hitting .214 (15 for 70) with one home run since he returned on July 1 from his knee injury.

Ian Desmond, who has played in 99 of the Nationals’ 100 games, also gets the day off. Anthony Rendon slides over to shortstop for his first career major league start there and Steve Lombardozzi starts at second.


1. Scott Hairston, LF

2. Anthony Rendon, SS

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Jayson Werth, RF

5. Adam LaRoche, 1B

6. Wilson Ramos, C

7. Denard Span, CF

8. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B

9. Stephen Strasburg, SP



To come.