Morse’s return unifies heart of Nationals’ lineup

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“I know they’re not going to be pitching around some of the guys in front of him who are important, especially LaRoche, to get to him,” Johnson said.

Then he glanced back out at the field, perhaps thinking of the potential three games on it could hold for Morse.

“Especially in this ballpark,” he said. “It’s one of the better-hitting ballparks in baseball.”

Notes: Closer Drew Storen threw off a mound for the first time Friday and came through his second bullpen session Monday morning well. Storen, who underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow April 11, remains on track to return to the major league roster around the All-Star break, if not before.

• Right-hander Ryan Mattheus will make a second minor league rehab appearance Tuesday and likely at least one more before the Nationals evaluate the reliever’s status in his return from a partial tear in the plantar fascia of his left foot.

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