Game 15: Span, Espinosa out; Harper back in

Adam Berry here in Miami, pinch-hitting for Bill Ladson. For more news and notes and in-game updates, check out Nationals.com and follow me on Twitter @adamdberry.

Bryce Harper is back in the Nationals’ starting lineup for tonight’s series finale against the Marlins. He said he feels much better today than he did yesterday — and he looked like he felt better, too.

Denard Span, on the other hand, wasn’t quite feeling up to starting. Span seemed to be hit a little worse by whatever stomach flu bug affected him and Harper: He reported to Marlins Park early Tuesday afternoon but couldn’t even build up the strength to get out of bed and come back to meet a doctor around 6 p.m., so he just stayed in bed.

Span did say he was feeling better today, though, and manager Davey Johnson said the outfielder could be an option in the later innings tonight if the right situation presents itself.

Danny Espinosa is still on the mend, although not healthy enough to get back on the field for tonight’s game. Espinosa, who fielded a few grounders at second during BP but has yet to take any swings that we know of, has been saying the past few days that he was optimistic he could return today and that he’ll be back Friday “at the latest.”

Johnson was not as optimistic about Espinosa’s chances of coming back Friday, giving the second baseman a “50-50″ chance to return for the Nationals’ series opener against the Mets.

As for tonight’s lineups…

Nationals (8-6)

RF Jayson Werth
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
CF Roger Bernadina
C Kurt Suzuki

LHP Ross Detwiler

Marlins (3-11)
LF Juan Pierre
2B Donovan Solano
3B Placido Polanco
CF Justin Ruggiano
1B Greg Dobbs
RF Austin Kearns
C Miguel Olivo
SS Chris Valaika
RHP Ricky Nolasco

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