The Washington Times - April 16, 2013, 05:57PM

MIAMI — Bryce Harper and Denard Span were both absent from the Washington Nationals’ lineup on Tuesday after spending most of the night dealing with the stomach flu. Harper and Span were told to rest for much of the afternoon, alerting manager Davey Johnson to their trouble fairly early on Tuesday afternoon.

Span arrived at the ballpark early in the afternoon but Johnson instructed the center fielder to return to his hotel for a few more hours of rest. Both players were scheduled to see the doctor at 6 p.m.

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“I’m not trying to get playing time for Bernadina and/or Moore,” Johnson said. “Harper and Span have both been very sick during the night, some form of the 24-hour flu. They haven’t been able to keep any food down, and both are dehydrated. They’re going to see the doctor here at 6 but definitely not available to go.

“I saw Span here earlier, and he looked like he needed to go back to bed. Hopefully they’ll have a quick recovery.”

Johnson hoped it was nothing more than a 24-hour bug, but it did lead to a lively debate in the clubhouse as he polled his relievers as to which of them would be best to use in the outfield if it came to that.

Tyler Moore and Roger Bernadina got the starts in left field and center field, respectively.

With second baseman Danny Espinosa still recovering from taking a pitch off his right wrist on Sunday, the Nationals bench was essentially down to Chad Tracy and Jhonatan Solano.