Lineup changes delay Nats-Braves game

Lineup changes delay Nats-Braves game

ATLANTA -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker entered Thursday night's 3-2 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park planning to rest most of his regulars during the final couple of innings. He certainly didn't anticipate the confusion this would create when he opted to make six lineup changes before the bottom of the eighth.

The game was delayed for eight minutes as Baker talked to his coaches and home-plate umpire Nic Lentz in an attempt to properly align his lineup. He was forced to make a series of adjustments once Sammy Solis entered from the bullpen and stepped on the mound before Lentz had been informed of the double-switch element to the lineup changes.

Once Solis toed the rubber before the changes had been relayed, he was forced to fill the ninth spot in the lineup. Unfortunately for Baker, Wilmer Difo had just been used in this spot as a pinch-hitter (recording the final out of the top half of the eighth) with the plan for him to replace Trea Turner at shortstop when the bottom half of the inning began.

So, with Solis now occupying the ninth spot, Solis' night was over and Turner was forced to remain in the game because the Nationals did not have another available shortstop.

"It wasn't [Solis'] fault, it was our fault for the miscommunication with the players," Baker said.

Braves manager Brian Snitker fueled the confusing sequence, when he simply asked Lentz to give him the lineup changes.

"They just weren't telling me anything," Snitker said. "I'm yelling at the umpire wondering where they were [batting] because I noticed there was a whole new team out there. They said the pitcher was in the nine hole, and I was thinking, 'Well, the kid who just hit ninth is playing short.' But they hadn't told him, so once he toes the rubber, he's got to hit ninth.

"I wanted to know who was coming up when. They were just having a hard time figuring it out. The umpire was like, 'I've got to talk to him.' I said, 'OK, just make sure you get it right.'"

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.