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04/08/09 7:00 PM ET

Belliard leaves with back tightness

Infielder removed before pinch-hit at-bat in eighth inning

MIAMI -- Nationals second baseman Ronnie Belliard left Wednesday's game against the Marlins because of tightness in his lower back.

Belliard was scheduled to hit in the top of the eighth inning, but his back was too stiff, and manager Manny Acta put in Alberto Gonzalez as a pinch-hitter. Belliard believes he hurt the back on Tuesday during his last at-bat against Florida.

With the day off on Thursday, Belliard said he hopes to be ready to play against the Braves at Turner Field on Friday.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.