The Washington Times - March 13, 2011, 05:35PM

JUPITER, Fla. — Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa said he was fine after getting hit in the helmet with a pitch from Ricky Nolasco in the first inning Sunday.

Espinosa stayed down on the ground in the batters box for a few minutes while being attended to by manager Jim Riggleman and the training staff, but eventually walked gingerly to first base and stayed in the game.

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“He kept saying, ‘I’m fine,’ he just wasn’t getting up yet,” Riggleman said.

“It didn’t really square me up,” Espinosa said. “It was just more surprising to get hit like that… It got me more, I think, than a graze but it definitely didn’t square me up.”

He was checked for concussion symptoms but didn’t seem to have any issues later in the game, making several strong defensive plays at second base and continuing his improvement at the position. Espinosa played the majority of his minor league career as a shortstop.

“I’m comfortable (at second),” Espinosa said. “To me there’s no worries as far as ground balls or a double play. I feel great over there.”