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Nationals place Howie Kendrick on DL with Achilles injury

Washington Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor, left, walks away as left fielder Howie Kendrick is taken away on the cart after an injury, as the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen watches from above, during the eighth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Washington. (Alex Brandon / AP)
Washington Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor, left, walks away as left fielder Howie Kendrick is taken away on the cart after an injury, as the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen watches from above, during the eighth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park, Saturday, May 19, 2018, in Washington. (Alex Brandon / AP)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The Nationals have placed veteran Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles tendon injury.

Washington made the announcement Saturday night, about three hours after Kendrick was hurt in the opener of a doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kendrick took an awkward step while retreating to catch a deep flyball to left field in the eighth inning of Washington’s 4-1 loss. He winced as he threw the ball and then went to the ground, where a trainer examined his lower right leg. He did not put any weight on the leg and was taken off the field in a cart.

“It’s a huge loss,” teammate Bryce Harper said. “Not something you want to see, especially when we need him. I’m super bummed out.”

The Nationals did not specify whether Kendrick’s Achilles was torn or provide any other details. Manager Dave Martinez said Kendrick would have an MRI.

Kendrick was in the dugout and in uniform for the nightcap, wearing a walking boot on his right foot.

Kendrick’s .303 batting average leads the team, and he has steadied the Nationals’ lineup in the absence of regulars Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy. He was making just his fifth start in left field this season, having played mostly at second base in place of Murphy.

The 34-year-old Kendrick is a .291 career hitter in 13 major league seasons. The Nationals acquired him in a trade with Philadelphia last July.

Washington recalled right-hander Jefry Rodriguez from Double-A Harrisburg to take Kendrick’s place on the roster.

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