WASHINGTON -- The Nationals will continue to use both Sean Burnett and Drew Storen to close games, according to manager Jim Riggleman.
"If there is a situation where it's predominantly right-handed, then definitely it would be Drew," Riggleman said. "If it's predominantly left-handed, I would want to have [Burnett] there."
Riggleman did mention that he would not hesitate to use Burnett as early as the seventh inning, depending on the matchups. The lefty will likely have a night off Thursday after making four consecutive appearances.
On Wednesday, Burnett suffered a blown save and watched his ERA rise from 2.61 to 5.73. Burnett is 3-for-5 in save opportunities this season, while Storen holds a 0.69 ERA and has also collected three saves.
"I just want to get outs in the ninth," Riggleman said. "I'm not going to get too caught up on who gets the save. I just want us to get the save and, more importantly, the [win]."
Low-pressure spots for reliever Rodriguez
WASHINGTON -- Though the Nationals expect hard-throwing Henry Rodriguez to eventually contribute in the late innings, manager Jim Riggleman will look to use the reliever in low-pressure situations until he gets acclimated.
Rodriguez was activated on Wednesday after spending the first few weeks of the season on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
"I would like to get Henry in a little softer situation the first time out, but we'll just see where it opens up to where I need him," Riggleman said.
"I'd like to get him in a game just so that if there are any butterflies at all, he can get rid of those and try to get him in some more significant situations."
Riggleman mentioned that an appearance for Rodriguez could give Tyler Clippard a break after his laborious 31-pitch inning on Wednesday evening.
Ryan Zimmerman played catch on Thursday, but the Nationals offered no update on his condition. Manager Jim Riggleman said it would be "a little bit of a slow process," because "it's a tough area to get better." Zimmerman's been on the disabled list since April 10 with a left abdominal strain. ... First base umpire Tim McClelland missed Thursday's game due to a non-serious medical condition. The game will continue with a three-umpire crew.
Kristen Hudak is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.