Flores snaps Nats' drought behind dish

Flores snaps Nats' drought behind dish

PHOENIX -- Jesus Flores throwing out a would-be basestealer in the bottom of the fourth inning of Saturday's 6-5 win over the D-backs might not have been the most important play of the game. It probably saved Edwin Jackson a few pitches, kept a runner out of scoring position and allowed him to work a quicker inning after laboring through three long ones.

But those plays have been few and far between this season for the Nationals, so Flores' throw was appreciated by Jackson and manager Davey Johnson.

"I don't know how many straight [opponents] have stolen, 30 or something?" Johnson said. "It was great to get that one and get that monkey off our back."

The Nationals hadn't caught a runner stealing this month, and they've only caught two since June 15.

Flores has thrown out five of 50 runners this season, and the Nationals' 14 runners caught stealing ranks second to last in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates. They've given up 84 stolen bases, with a 85.7 success rate that is also the second-worst in the Majors.

"That throw out at second was huge for us to get out of that inning. He did a great job back there," Jackson said. "Anytime you can battle through with a pitcher and you throw 100-plus pitches through five, it's a credit to the catcher for sticking with you and trying to keep you on track. He did an excellent job."