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Anthony Rendon out of Nationals’ lineup with sore neck

Anthony Rendon suffered a stinger on a diving play in Tuesday’s loss at Marlins Park. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)
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MIAMI — A few hours before Tuesday night’s game against the Miami Marlins, Anthony Rendon sat in a big black armchair in the visitors’ clubhouse at Marlins Park, head back, gazing noncommittally at whatever magazine he found on the table nearby.

His good friend Brian Goodwin walked up with a smile and began jokingly massaging Rendon’s neck. They laughed for a bit before Goodwin quit the shtick, and Rendon slowly turned his head to nod goodbye as Goodwin headed off to hit. Rendon’s neck is okay enough to joke about, but not yet enough to play.

The 27-year-old is not in the Nationals’ starting lineup Tuesday night, which is no surprise. Rendon left Monday’s game with a stinger in his neck, and the Nationals rarely push players back into action the day after injury. Neither the third baseman nor his manager, Dusty Baker, seem to think any trouble will linger.

“He’s a little sore. Just don’t want to take a chance,” Baker said. “…he could be available in an emergency, which I hope not. We’ll check and see how he’s doing tomorrow.”

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Though Rendon joked he was headed straight to the 60-day disabled list after the injury, he was back on the field during batting practice Tuesday afternoon. He did not hit, but did stand and take throws at second base. Generally, players unavailable because of injury do not participate in batting practice at all.

“They’re working on him,” Baker, who did not have more specifics about a diagnosis or types of treatment, said. “We’ve got about a hundred hands back there.”

Rendon had settled in as a key piece of the middle of the Nationals’ order, a reliable six-hole hitter enjoying one of the more productive seasons of his productive career. At the time of the injury, he was hitting .289 with a .918 OPS and 13 homers.

Without Rendon, the Nationals have less protection for Daniel Murphy. Left-handed hitting Stephen Drew will hit sixth Tuesday in Rendon’s place, which makes the Nationals’ lineup more left-handed heavy against unpredictable Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez. Goodwin will also start against the righty, in keeping with the unofficial platoon Baker is using to fill in for Jayson Werth in left field.


Trea Turner SS

Brian Goodwin LF

Bryce Harper RF

Ryan Zimmerman 1B

Daniel Murphy 2B

Stephen Drew 3B

Matt Wieters C

Michael A. Taylor CF

Gio Gonzalez P


Dee Gordon 2B

Giancarlo Stanton RF

Christian Yelich CF

Marcell Ozuna LF

Justin Bour 1B

J.T. Realmuto C

JT Riddle SS

Christian Colon 3B

Edinson Volquez P