MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Span's back spasms put Espinosa in outfield

Washington uses infielder in left for two innings

Span's back spasms put Espinosa in outfield

WASHINGTON -- Nationals center fielder Denard Span suffered back spasms during a 6-3 loss to the Cubs on Sunday afternoon and had to be taken out of the game after the seventh inning.

Danny Espinosa replaced Span in the lineup and found himself playing left field for the first time in his career, while Michael Taylor moved from left to center field.

In the seventh inning, Span popped up to Starlin Castro for the second out. After the third out was made, Span went to get his glove and tried to stand up, and his back locked up on him.

"It never happened to me before. It scared the heck out of me," Span said after the game. "I'll take a few muscle relaxers on this train ride. Hopefully, it will loosen up. Good thing we have a day off tomorrow. I'll communicate with the trainers during tomorrow's day off and let them know how I'm feeling."

As for Espinosa, he has taken fly balls in the outfield during batting practice and the Nationals are confident he can play the outfield.

"I'm comfortable. I'm trying to get the job done and not overthink it," Espinosa said.

Espinosa didn't have any balls hit to him during his two innings in the outfield.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.