WASHINGTON (AP) -The Washington Nationals used their third starting shortstop in three games this season, moving Felipe Lopez over from second base for Wednesday’s series finale against the Florida Marlins.
Opening-day shortstop Cristian Guzman left after straining his left hamstring, then was put on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Josh Wilson started the second game, but now Lopez – who switched from shortstop to second base this spring – will fill in while Guzman is sidelined.
Ronnie Belliard took Lopez’s spot at second base.
“These are going to be our guys until something new comes up,” manager Manny Acta said.
Guzman said he initially felt a problem with his hamstring when he slid into second base while trying to break up a double play in the third inning Monday. He stayed in that game until his next at-bat, in the fifth, when he pulled up while running to first on a groundout.
“I’m a little bit not too happy,” said Guzman, who missed all of 2006 after right shoulder surgery.
Belliard said before Wednesday’s game he thinks he and Lopez won’t have trouble despite not having worked together.
“We don’t need to practice. We know what we need to do,” Belliard said. “I’m here as a defensive player. If I play good defense for this ballclub, I can help them.”
Acta wasn’t worried about Belliard’s play in the field.
“He’s a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman,” the manager said. “Everybody’s seen it over the years.”
Infielder D’Angelo Jimenez, one of the late cuts in spring training, was brought up from Triple-A Columbus to take Guzman’s roster spot. Jimenez will be a backup and available to pinch hit.
“It’s a good feeling to be back,” Jimenez said. “Everything is at zero. Starting over.”
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