Nationals hold Desmond out of lineup

The Washington Nationals held shortstop Ian Desmond out of the

lineup Thursday against the Chicago Cubs because of a back

problem.

Manager Davey Johnson says the Nationals are taking a cautious

approach after Desmond left Wednesday’s game against Chicago. His

back tightened up during batting practice, but he stayed in until

the fifth inning, when he was replaced by Anthony Rendon as part of

a double switch.

Desmond was batting .273 with 17 homers and 59 RBIs.