WASHINGTON -- Two days after it was revealed that he suffered a bone bruise in his left shoulder, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa was hitting seventh against the Dodgers in Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader.
Before the game, Espinosa took batting practice with hitting coach Rick Eckstein observing. After the session ended, Espinosa and Eckstein spoke to manager Davey Johnson, who was convinced by Eckstein that Espinosa was ready to play.
"Eckstein said, '[Espinosa] looks good. He looks like his old self,'" Johnson said. "I said, 'He is only going to play one [game of the doubleheader] for me.' [Espinosa] turned around and said, 'Keep an open mind after I play the first one.' So, we'll see."
Espinosa went 2-for-4 in the first game and played spectacular defense, making a pair of diving plays in the 3-1 win.
Steve Lombardozzi started at second base in the second game.
At first, general manager Mike Rizzo thought the injury was a lot worse than expected, because it's rare when Espinosa reveals that he is injured.
"To have this guy even mention it at all, it kind of made me anxious, because he is as tough as they come," Rizzo said. "He is as old-school as they come. For him to mention it and suggest that he doesn't want an at-bat, it kind of alarmed me a little bit."
Zimmerman gets cortisone shot in right shoulder
WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman needed a cortisone shot in his right shoulder on Wednesday, his fourth this season. The last one came on June 24, and he went on a tear after receiving that injection, hitting .332 with 19 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .994 OPS in his next 75 games.
Zimmerman was in the starting lineup for both games of the doubleheader against the Dodgers.
Manager Davey Johnson then announced that Zimmerman will have minor surgery after the season. Zimmerman is expected to be ready for Spring Training.
"It's probably a cleanup. In this day and time, it's not a big deal," Johnson said. "He is going to have some treatment by [team medical director] Dr. Wiemi [Douoguih] prior to the game. It's not nearly as bad, but it has been acting up lately."
Zimmerman's shoulder has given him problems since early April. He landed on the 15-day disabled list because of shoulder inflammation and returned to action in early May.
The injury has not stopped him from having a solid season. Entering Wednesday, Zimmerman was hitting .284 with 22 home runs and 84 RBIs.
"He is playing great as far as I'm concerned," Johnson said. "The results from the [last cortisone shot was] so good and he felt so much better."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.