Craig Gentry started in center field against right-hander Ervin Santana and made a run-saving play in the second inning by throwing out Billy Butler as he tried to score from third on a medium-depth fly ball.

“I didn’t expect him to go,” Gentry said. “What I had to do was make an accurate throw. That’s what I was trying to do.”

Washington said the move was made to keep Gentry sharp and was unrelated to recent defensive problems in center for Leonys Martin.

In the previous three games, Martin had his first two errors and also made an ill-advised throw to third that removed the possibility of a double play. Martin’s defensive performance to date has been marked by mistakes of youth mixed in with superb plays.

“It’s decision-making — that’s the hiccup,” Washington said. “It’s not his ability to run the ball down or make good throws. It’s just decision-making.”