Nationals hold Desmond out of lineup

Published Aug. 22, 2013 3:15 p.m. ET

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.