The Washington Times - July 7, 2011, 05:10PM

Ivan Rodriguez has been scratched from the Nationals lineup tonight with a right oblique issue and Wilson Ramos will start in his place.

No details yet as to what Rodriguez was doing when he tweaked the oblique area but he was out taking batting practice and stretching with the team when he left the field, obviously upset. Rodriguez did a stint on the disabled list in 2010 with a back strain but stayed just the minimum 15 days. His first start back off the DL then was Stephen Strasburg’s debut.


The decision to pull him out of Thursday night’s lineup was mostly precautionary, a Nationals spokesman said, and he was available to pinch hit and catch but Rodriguez was receiving treatment a little more than an hour before the game on the area.

– Michael Morse finished fourth in the Final Vote for the 2011 All-Star game with Shane Victorino winning the fan balloting for the NL team’s final roster spot. Chances are that means Morse will not be participating in the All-Star game with reliever Tyler Clippard but with injuries cropping up in a slew of All-Stars, there could still be a chance.

Along those same lines, there’s quite possibly a chance Danny Espinosa could be selected for the team with Mets’ shortstop Jose Reyes going on the disabled list Thursday. Jerry Hairston Jr. was starting the campaign for the rookie second baseman Thursday afternoon, walking through the clubhouse screaming “Sixteen and 50. That’s an All-Star,” in reference to Espinosa’s home run and RBI totals so far this season.

– Laynce Nix was not in the Nationals starting lineup but it was basically a routine day off for the cleanup hitter. Nix, who was working at first base during batting practice with infield coordinator Jeff Garber, is still dealing with some tenderness from a right Achilles issue and seems to get more bumps and bruises by the day. He was available to pinch hit, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.

– Johnson was incorrect Wednesday night when he said he’d never before called for a squeeze bunt. A search through his managerial records showed that Johnson did indeed call for at least one other one, with the Mets in 1988. He had Wally Backman lay one down with Dave Magadan running from third base. Still, Johnson said, in 14-plus years as a manager, that’s only two.