The Washington Times - July 23, 2012, 06:54PM

NEW YORK — Washington Nationals catcher Jesus Flores was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game on Monday with rookie Sandy Leon getting the start again. Flores, who has been nursing a sore back, said he felt well enough to play — even better than he did on Sunday.

But Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he’d need to see Flores go through full batting practice (which the Nationals have not taken since last Tuesday due to weather and day games) before he’s comfortable starting him again. Flores did not hit on Sunday.


“If he can go through batting practice and his back doesn’t stiffen up, I’ll put him back in the lineup,” Johnson said. “But I don’t want to have a situation where he starts the game and has to come out like he did on Friday. That just defeats all kinds of purposes.”

– Outfielder Corey Brown was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse as the Nationals made their official move to put Ian Desmond on the disabled list with a left oblique strain.

Brown, who is hitting .300 in the minor leagues with a .384 on-base percentage, was excited to be back in the major leagues and ready to help the Nationals in any way possible. Brown has had two previous big league stints, coming up in September but being quickly lost to a staph infection in his knee, and earlier this season when he spent four days with the team in Miami. 

He has yet to notch his first major league hit, a fact he joked about Monday, though he did get his first major league RBI out of the way with a squeeze bunt during his last big league stint. Brown has hit 21 minor league home runs this season.

– Here are the full lineups for tonight’s game:


Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Bryce Harper RF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse LF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Danny Espinosa SS
Roger Bernadina CF
Sandy Leon C
Jordan Zimmermann P


Ruben Tejada SS
Jordany Valdespin RF
David Wright 3B
Ike Davis 1B
David Murphy 2B
Jason Bay LF
Kirk Nieuwenhuis CF
Josh Thole C
Chris Young P