The Washington Times - July 26, 2013, 01:01PM

Until Bryce Harper’s first career walk-off homer cleared the center field wall at Nationals Park on Thursday afternoon, the one man throwing the Nationals on his back all afternoon was Steve Lombardozzi, getting a second consecutive start at second base. 

Lombardozzi was 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a RBI, practically willing the Nationals’ underachieving offense to join him for the ride as they scored nine runs. 


With that performance in mind, manager Davey Johnson slotted Lombardozzi right back into his lineup for the first game of Friday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets.

“He did everything,” Johnson said. “Outstanding plays he made. The bunt he laid down was blueprint. He drove in some runs — and I’m not changing a winning hand right now. I think that’s the first time we scored nine runs in months.

“He might shoot me if I didn’t have him there today, too. So I’m avoiding another catastrophe like getting thrown out: getting knocked out.”

Technically it hadn’t been quite as long as their manager guesstimated since the Nationals had scored nine runs, but the hyperbole fit his point. 

Johnson did say he expected to play Anthony Rendon in the nightcap.

Here are the full lineups for Game 1 as Jordan Zimmermann will face Jenrry Mejia:


Bryce Harper LF
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Ian Desmond SS
Denard Span CF
Kurt Suzuki C
Jordan Zimmermann P


Juan Lagares CF
Daniel Murphy 2B
David Wright 3B
Marlon Byrd RF
Ike Davis 1B
Andrew Brown LF
Anthony Recker C
Omar Quintanilla SS
Jenrry Mejia P