The Washington Times - May 22, 2012, 03:37PM

PHILADELPHIA — The Washington Nationals have a chance to win their second straight series over the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, but they’ll have to go through Roy Halladay to do it. Halladay, who’ll be opposed by Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, will face the same lineup that Washington ran out vs. Kyle Kendrick in the series opener.

Steve Lombardozzi will get his second straight start in left field, a spot the natural second baseman may find himself in more often as manager Davey Johnson aims to keep his bat in the lineup and at the leadoff spot. 


“I like finding time for him,” Johnson said Monday. “He’s been great. He’s basically a second baseman and I’ve played him everywhere. He’s been an outstanding utility guy for us. I like the fact that he’s been getting on base better than anybody so it’s more me finding a spot for him. 

“I still think (second baseman Danny Espinosa) is going to get squared away and start playing like I know he’s capable, everybody knows he’s capable. My job is to give everybody an opportunity to play like they’re capable of.”

Ian Desmond will get his fourth straight start in the No. 5 spot in the Nationals lineup, a move of the slugging shortstop that has already paid dividends for the Nationals. In three games at the No. 5 spot, Desmond is 5-for-13 (.385) with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. In 13 plate appearances, he’s only struck out once.

That’s a continuation, really, of what Desmond’s been doing at the plate all year for the Nationals. His season totals, all but the last three games of which came out of the leadoff spot: .280 average, .301 on-base percentage, .473 slugging percentage. Desmond also leads the team in doubles (13), is tied for the lead in home runs (7) and is second behind cleanup man Adam LaRoche in RBI (20).

He’s 4-for-18 against Halladay with a double, an RBI, two walks and six strikeouts.

Here are the full lineups:


Steve Lombardozzi LF
Bryce Harper RF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Rick Ankiel CF
Jesus Flores C
Jordan Zimmermann P


Juan Pierre LF
Placido Polanco 3B
Shane Victorino CF
Hunter Pence LF
Carlos Ruiz C
Hector Luna 1B
Freddy Galvis SS
Mike Fontenot 2B
Roy Halladay P