MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Strained buttocks keeps Nats' Murphy out of lineup

Strained buttocks keeps Nats' Murphy out of lineup

PITTSBURGH -- Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, who was out of the lineup Friday for the fifth consecutive game, had an MRI exam recently, and it was revealed he has a mild strain in his buttocks, according to manager Dusty Baker. Murphy will be shut down for a few days.

Will Murphy be ready for the postseason?

"I'm not a doctor. I don't know," Baker said. "[The trainers] are doing everything they can to try to alleviate the pain and get rid of whatever is in there. We have a capable [training] staff here. I'm glad he didn't do it any worse."

Murphy sustained the injury in the third inning on Saturday afternoon, when he tied Denard Span for the most hits in a single season in Nationals history. The historic hit came with one out against Braves right-hander Josh Collmenter.

After sliding into second base for a double, Murphy took a long time to get up, and Baker and head athletic trainer Paul Lessard came to the second baseman's aid. But Murphy stayed in the game.

With Murphy out of the lineup, Stephen Drew got the nod at second base on Friday vs. the Pirates, and he was expected to start there again on Saturday. Drew recently recovered from vertigo, and Baker said he wants to be careful how he uses him.

"This puts [Drew] on an accelerated program as far as playing. But I have to be careful not to play him too much," Baker said.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 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.