Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond exited Tuesday night’s 6-4 win over the Atlanta Braves after the fifth inning with what’s currently being described as back tightness.

Desmond, 28, told reporters he was dealing with the issue before the game and does not anticipate being in the lineup on Wednesday, per James Wagner of the Washington Post:

Danny Espinosa entered at shortstop for the last four innings and will likely be the interim starter. Desmond went 1-for-3 before exiting Tuesday, hitting an RBI single in the first inning and scoring a run as the Nationals raced out to an early 5-0 lead.

The back injury became more apparent as the game went along. Desmond committed a throwing error in the fourth inning and struck out wildly in his next two at-bats.

After fanning in the bottom of the fourth and playing the fifth inning in discomfort, he was removed from the game.

Manager Matt Williams indicated he does not expect the issue to linger very long:

Washington’s win extended its advantage to nine games over Atlanta. Regardless of Desmond’s prognosis, the Nationals should run away with their second National League East title in three seasons.

The two-time Silver Slugger is batting .248/.303/.415 with 22 home runs and 83 RBI thus far. He’s also added 18 stolen bases.


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