The Washington Times - April 15, 2011, 03:04PM

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman toyed with the idea of batting second baseman Danny Espinosa at leadoff a week and a half ago when leadoff hitter, Ian Desmond, was on a season-opening 0-for-13 skid. Riggleman changed his mind last week in Florida, choosing to stick with Desmond — who rewarded him by going 9-for-25 on the team’s six-game road trip.

Since returning to Nationals Park, though, Desmond has struggled. He’s 0-for-25 now inside the confines of the team’s home stadium and as the team opens a three-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers against a tough left-hander in Chris Narveson, Riggleman finally swapped his two middle infielders in the lineup.


Espinosa, hitting.281 on the season, found himself in the leadoff spot Friday afternoon with Desmond, hitting .180, was dropped to the No. 7 slot in the lineup.

Wilson Ramos was also back in the lineup for the second straight day at catcher and batting sixth. it is the first back-to-back starts of the season for the catcher, who displaced left fielder Michael Morse in the lineup yesterday and dropped him to seventh, where he will be again on Friday.

On the other side, Nyjer Morgan was not in the Brewers starting lineup.

Here are the full lineups:


Danny Espinosa, 2b
Rick Ankiel, CF
Jayson Werth, RF
Adam LaRoche, 1b
Wilson Ramos, C
Michael Morse, LF
Ian Desmond, SS
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3b
Tom Gorzelanny, P


Rickie Weeks, 2b
Carlos Gomez, CF
Ryan Braun, LF
Prince Fielder, 1b
Casey McGehee, 3b
Yunkiesky Betancourt, SS
Erick Almonte, RF
Wil Nieves, C
Chris Narveson, P