Murphy (hamstring) out of lineup again

Second baseman feels better, but Baker being cautious

Murphy (hamstring) out of lineup again

WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy, who was scratched Friday night with a sore left hamstring, was out of the Nationals' starting lineup again Saturday, although he told manager Dusty Baker he felt good enough to play.

But Baker normally uses caution in dealing with hamstring injuries, so he decided to give Murphy an extra day off to be sure. Washington won, 6-0.

"Plus this gives him time to go out and test it during [batting practice]," Baker said. "Really test it, where if he was playing he probably wouldn't spend the energy in the heat and testing it."

Murphy is expected to return to the starting lineup on Sunday, where he will likely play first base in Ryan Zimmerman's absence and to put less pressure on his hamstring. Murphy jogged a few laps around the field and took batting practice, and Baker said Murphy could be an option off the bench to pinch-hit late in Saturday's game if needed.

Murphy, who leads the Majors with a .348 batting average, injured himself on a slide during Tuesday night's All-Star Game. 

Stephen Drew got the start at second base on Saturday and batted seventh.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.