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Harper, Desmond out of struggling Nationals lineup

Wednesday - 7/24/2013, 5:35pm  ET

Pittsburgh Pirates' Russell Martin, bottom, steals second against Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, top, during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, July 22, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON -- Left fielder Bryce Harper and shortstop Ian Desmond are out of the Nationals' lineup for at least one game.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Wednesday that Harper recently had treatment on the left knee that put him on the disabled list earlier this season, so he'll rest "to be safe." Johnson is "hopeful" Harper will return Thursday against Pittsburgh.

Desmond is out because of a left hand blister. He might be sidelined a couple of days, Johnson said.

Scott Hairston took Harper's spot in left and batting leadoff. Rookie Anthony Rendon, who's been playing second base, moved to shortstop. Steve Lombardozzi started at second.

Also, Johnson said rookie starter Taylor Jordan probably will pitch 20-30 more innings before being shut down.

The Nationals began Wednesday 0-5 since the All-Star break.

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