Harper, Desmond return to Nationals' lineup
Desmond was not listed in the initial lineup for Thursday's game against Pittsburgh, but later was inserted. He missed Washington's 4-2 loss Wednesday because of a burst blister on his left palm, while Harper sat out after getting treatment on the knee that landed him on the disabled list earlier this season.
Steve Lombardozzi started at second for Anthony Rendon.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson would not rule out the possibility of reliever Drew Storen being demoted to the minors. Storen is 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA after being charged with three runs while getting only two outs in the ninth inning Wednesday.
Said Johnson: ''I don't think anything's off the table.''