WASHINGTON -- With Emilio Bonifacio on the disabled list, the Marlins lose more than an energizing presence. They're without their leadoff hitter.
Since manager Ozzie Guillen intends to keep Jose Reyes batting third, the leadoff spot may change on a daily basis.
But if given the opportunity, Bryan Petersen welcomes the challenge.
Petersen enjoyed a good night on Saturday, going 3-for-5 with a run scored in the Marlins' 10-7 loss to the Nationals.
"It's a role that I embrace," Petersen said. "I know that with Boni down, it's big shoes to fill. But I've done it in the past.
"I've led off multiple seasons down in the Minors, so it's not like it's a new thing for me. I'm going to take at-bats to the best of my ability, see some pitches. Set the table a little bit, so the guys behind me can drive me in and stuff."
Petersen has split time this season at the Major League and Triple-A levels.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder has had chances playing regularly as well as coming off the bench.
To show how little he's played, he entered Saturday with a .169 batting average, and raised it to .197 with his three-hit performance. He came into Sunday with 76 big league at-bats in 33 games.
At New Orleans, where he played in 64 games, he batted .321.
"I don't think the results have been there," Petersen said. "Not playing every day, you just try to take the best at-bats you can.
"I'm trying to take some good at-bats, keep it rolling and try to build some confidence from there. When you're in a position like this, you've got to just take every at-bat like it's a new season. You try to take the positives out of everything."