Flores returns to lineup after missing three straight

Flores returns to lineup after missing three straight

NEW YORK -- Catcher Jesus Flores was back in the starting lineup for the Nationals on Tuesday night in New York after missing three straight games with back stiffness.

Flores has become Washington's starting catcher with the season-ending injury to Wilson Ramos. The franchise's depth at the position has been tested recently with Flores' aches, Ramos' stay on the DL, and backup Jhonatan Solano's recent placement on the DL with a left oblique injury.

Sandy Leon was called up last Thursday from Double-A Harrisburg and started those three games Flores missed. Leon will likely start again Wednesday in the afternoon series finale in New York.

Flores said Tuesday that he took batting practice before Monday's game and felt fine, but manager Davey Johnson wanted to see a full workout before re-inserting the backstop into the starting lineup.

"He went through that fine and he enjoyed it and had no discomfort," Johnson said of Flores' workout Monday. "I checked with him on the bench about an hour later, and he was fine."

Entering Tuesday night's game, Flores was hitting .227 with three homers and 17 RBIs.