Nationals’ Soto scratched vs. Braves with sore left shoulder

ATLANTA (AP) — The Washington Nationals removed left fielder Juan Soto from the lineup for Friday’s first game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves because of a sore left shoulder.

Soto’s exit takes away one of baseball’s top hitters and comes one day after another Washington outfielder, Adam Eaton, was forced out of Thursday night’s game with a jammed knee.

The 21-year-old Soto is hitting .354 with 11 homers and 26 RBIs. He missed the first eight games because of a positive test for the coronavirus, although he never had symptoms.

Soto was listed as the No. 2 hitter in the original lineup announced by the team. In the adjusted lineup, Josh Harrison moved from third base to left field and Wilmer Difo played third.

The team did not immediately provide details of Soto’s injury.

Earlier Friday, manager Dave Martinez said he hoped Eaton would be available for Friday night’s second game. Eaton did not start in the first game after jamming his knee in Thursday’s loss to Philadelphia.

The starting outfield against the Braves included Harrison, Victor Robles in center field and Michael A. Taylor in right field.

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