The Washington Times - July 31, 2012, 11:56PM

The Nationals were without two of their biggest bats on Tuesday night with Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche both dealing with back ailments.

Manager Davey Johnson said both are expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday, though, good news for a Nationals offense that was shutout by the Philadelphia Phillies in an 8-0 loss.


Zimmerman, who aggravated his back diving into home plate on Sunday afternoon, scoring the winning run in the Nationals’ 11-10 extra-innings victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, said he would be fine to play tomorrow. LaRoche, who was pulled from Sunday’s game with a back spasm, said the same early Tuesday afternoon.

The difference in the Nationals’ lineup without them was obvious.

Compounded by the fact that Ian Desmond is currently on the disabled list with a left oblique strain and Jayson Werth is not yet back from a broken left wrist, the lineup was strikingly different Tuesday night. The result was five combined hits (including only one for extra-bases) and no runs against left-hander Cliff Lee.

With the Phillies throwing right-hander Vance Worley on Wednesday, the Nationals should have more of their full complement of players back.