Nationals - Padres lineups: Danny Espinosa back in the lineup

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SAN DIEGO — Danny Espinosa returned to the Nationals’ lineup on Friday evening, after a one-day break for the slumping second baseman. 

Manager Davey Johnson talked at length with Espinosa on Thursday, and he characterized the conversation as a good one. 

“Obviously, he’s not where he wants to be,” Johnson said of Espinosa, who has just one hit since Saturday. “I feel that he’s got a great chance to get there. A lot of times the approach you can take home plate can be mental. He’s very driven, like a lot of the guys here on this ball club. I think he’s trying to do too much. When you start trying to do too much, you can get in some bad habits. Mechanics can go a little bad. It was a good conversations. Hopefully it will lead to more conversations.”

Asked to be a bit more specific about what he was seeing from Espinosa, Johnson elaborated. 

“He’s chansing balls out of the strike zone, he’s missing balls that he should have drove,” Johnson said. “It all runs together. By and large, he’s been getting himself out more than they’ve been getting him out. That’s what you have to correct. But he’s got a ton of ability. He’ll get it. Sometimes, it takes a little while.”

Here are the full lineups as Gio Gonzalez goes against Burch Smith:

Nationals

Denard Span CF
Steve Lombardozzi LF
Bryce Harper RF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Kurt Suzuki C
Gio Gonzalez P 

Padres

Chris Denorfia CF
Everth Cabrera SS
Chase Headley 3b
Jesus Guzman LF
Kyle Blanks 1B
Jedd Gyorko 2B
Will Venable RF
Nick Hundley C
Burch Smith P

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About the Author
Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.

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