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Nats' Martinez undergoes heart procedure

Nationals manager Dave Martinez underwent a heart procedure Monday in Washington, and it is uncertain when he will be able to rejoin the team.

FILE PHOTO: Aug 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez (4) in the dugout against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The news about Martinez came from general manager Mike Rizzo, who spoke to the media in St. Louis on Monday before the Nationals lost 4-2 in the opener of a key three-game series in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

The team previously announced that Martinez, 54, did not join the club on its trip to St. Louis, opting to remain in the nation’s capital for precautionary medical testing. He first left the club Sunday in the sixth inning of Washington’s 7-0 win over the Atlanta Braves, and he was hospitalized due to chest pains.

Martinez wound up having a cardiac catheterization, and he will remain in Washington for additional testing, according to Rizzo.

“This is something we have to take care of,” Rizzo said, according to the Washington Post, adding that Martinez was “upbeat.”

“We are certainly -- when we get all the results back, we will have a game plan in place and get him back here as soon as we can.”

According to the American Heart Association, a cardiac catheterization “is a procedure to examine how well your heart is working. A thin, hollow tube called a catheter is inserted into a large blood vessel that leads to your heart. ...

“Cardiac (catheterization) is performed to find out if you have disease of the heart muscle, valves or coronary (heart) arteries. During the procedure, the pressure and blood flow in your heart can be measured.”

Martinez is in his second year as Washington’s manager, having compiled a 164-146 record (.529). He was a major league player for nine years in a career that ran from 1986-2001, finishing with a .276/.341/.389 batting line with 91 homers, 580 RBIs and 183 stolen bases in 1,918 games.

Bench coach Chip Hale managed the Nationals in Martinez’s absence.

The Monday loss, coupled with the Chicago Cubs’ win later in the evening, dropped the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs for the first wild card to a half-game.

--Field Level Media