The Washington Times - July 20, 2011, 11:36AM

HOUSTON — It’s getaway day here in Houston and true to form, just as he said he would yesterday, Nationals manager Davey Johnson is using the opportunity to get some of his bench in the lineup before an offday.

The Nationals travel to Los Angeles tonight but won’t play again until Friday night, giving Johnson an opportunity to get shortstop Ian Desmond out of the starting lineup for the first time since June 29 and piggy back it on a team off day for extra rest. On the 29th, Desmond was forced into the game in the fifth after Jerry Hairston Jr. was hurt. Wilson Ramos also gets a day off and Roger Bernadina moves back into the leadoff spot after a one-day hiatus. 

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One semi-surprise is the fact that Laynce Nix is absent from the lineup for the second straight day after Johnson said Tuesday he planned on playing the left fielder in either Tuesday night’s night game or Wednesday’s day game, but not both. The maintenance of Nix’s right Achilles soreness is paramount to keeping him on the field and productive so it may be related but we won’t find out until the clubhouse opens to reporters.

At any rate, Livan Hernandez goes for the Nationals against Brett Myers for the Astros. Here are the lineups behind  him:

Nationals:

Roger Bernadina LF
Danny Espinosa 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Rick Ankiel CF
Jesus Flores C
Alex Cora SS
Livan Hernandez P

Astros:

Michael Bourn CF
Jose Altuve 2B
Hunter Pence RF
Carlos Lee LF
Brett Wallace 1B
Chris Johnson 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Humberto Quintero C
Brett Myers P