Span was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday after missing 40 games due to back tightness. He then was placed back on the disabled list on Thursday due to inflammation in his left hip.
In his third season with the Nationals, Span was hitting .301 with five home runs, 22 RBIs, 38 runs scored and 11 stolen bases over 61 games. Washington won 36 of the 61 games Span started.
Without Span in the lineup on Thursday, the Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 4–2 at Nationals Park. Washington improved to 64–62, 6 1/2 games behind the New York Mets, who lead the NL East at 71–56.
Michael Taylor started in centerfield in place of Span, but exited in the seventh inning after crashing into the outfield fence. Bryce Harper moved over to center from rightfield. The Nationals said Taylor sustained a right knee contusion and is considered day-to-day.
Taylor, 24, is batting .241 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 109 games this season.
- Mike Fiammetta