Nats lose, Guzman to DL

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Tough end to the evening for the Nats. Not only did they blow a ninth-inning lead against the Marlins and wind up losing 3-2 in the 10th, they also placed shortstop Cristian Guzman on the DL with a strained left hamstring.

Guzman, who hurt himself on Monday, was hoping to return as soon as tomorrow. But he was still feeling some stiffness while working out today, and the club decided it wasn’t worth risking further injury. The move is retroactive to Tuesday, and the Nats don’t expect Guzman (the only member of last year’s Opening DAy lineup who didn’t spend time on the DL) to miss much time.

“He’s making a lot of progress, but right now he’s not 100 percent,” manager Manny Acta said. “It’s too early in the year. We don’t want to take a chance on him making it worse.”

Infielder Alex Cintron will have his contract purchased from Class AAA Syracuse and take Guzman’s roster spot tomorrow.

As for the game … after Joel Hanrahan surrendered the game-tying homer to Cody Ross in the ninth, Saul Rivera allowed the game-winner in the 10th. Rivera nearly got out of the inning 1-2-3, but with two outs and two strikes on Jorge Cantu, he missed on a borderline strike three call. He already took three steps toward the dugout before realizing Tim Timmons had called it a ball.

The inning fell apart from that point on. Cantu singled to left. Dan Uggla singled to right and moved Cantu to third. And then Jeremy Hermida beat out a grouder to the hole at short, giving the Marlins the lead for good.

Washington had a great opportunity to rally in the bottom of the 10th, getting a leadoff double from Elijah Dukes. But he never advanced past second. Josh Willingham flied out to shallow right, and Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom struck out Jesus Flores looking at a 3-2 fastball and then Alberto Gonzalez swinging at an 0-2 fastball up near his eyeballs.

Now, the answer to the question that’s really been on everyone’s mind all night: What happened to the “O” on Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman’s jerseys? According to clubhouse manager Mike Wallace, MLB asked for three jerseys from every team on Opening Day to be sent to league offices. The Nats sent Dunn, Zimmerman and Dukes, so all three had to receive a new shipment with new jerseys. Somehow, Dunn and Zimmerman’s were missing a key letter in the middle of the word “Nationals” and instead played three innings with “Natinals” on their chests.

“We checked the backs of the new jerseys when they came in,” Wallace said. “We never thought we had to check the front, too.”

Wallace and others noticed the mistake watching the game on TV from the clubhouse and between innings managed to get correct jerseys to both players.

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Mark Zuckerman

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