The Nationals placed Brad Lidge on the 15-day disabled list with an "abdominal wall strain" this evening and replaced the struggling reliever with fellow right-hander Ryan Perry, who was recalled from Class AAA Syracuse.
Lidge, 35, had been shaky in recent outings, including a blown save Saturday against the Marlins in which he walked three batters and served up the game-tying home run to Logan Morrison. He hadn't appeared in a game since.
The veteran right-hander opened the season as one-half of manager Davey Johnson's closing duo, sharing the job with the less-experienced Henry Rodriguez while regular closer Drew Storen recovers from elbow surgery. Lidge performed well out of the gate, notching the save on Opening Day in Chicago, but he blew his first save the following week in the Nationals' home opener and has struggled since.
Along the way, Johnson started using Rodriguez more regularly in the ninth inning, sliding the young flamethrower into meaningful situations more often.
Lidge's DL move is retroactive to April 22, so he would be eligible to return as soon as May 7.
Perry, 25, was 1-0 with two saves and a 2.00 ERA in eight appearances with Syracuse. A veteran of 149 big-league games with the Tigers from 2009-11, the right-hander was acquired from Detroit in December in exchange for reliever Collin Balester.