Feeling good, Ramos makes back-to-back starts

Feeling good, Ramos makes back-to-back starts

PITTSBURGH -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos started his second straight game against the Pirates on Sunday. It marked the first time that Ramos has played consecutive games this season.

Manager Davey Johnson has been cautious with Ramos before Sunday because the backstop suffered a serious right knee injury last year and missed most of the season. He also had a left hamstring injury last month.

Ramos said he was happy to see his name in the lineup for the second consecutive day. Entering Sunday, the Nationals were 7-2 when Ramos starts. He recently went to Johnson and told him that he was ready to play in back-to-back games. For most of the season, Ramos has been splitting time with Kurt Suzuki.

"I was waiting for this moment," Ramos said. "It's a long season. I know the manager didn't want me [to play back-to-back games] because of my knee and hamstring. But they feel good right now. I went to him a couple of days ago [and told him] that I'm feeling fine. My leg feels strong. I'm ready to go, I'm ready to play in back-to-back games. I want to help the team win. That's what I want to do."

On Saturday, Ramos -- stuck in an 0-for-17 slump -- singled in the sixth inning to drive in two runs and tie the score at 4.

"When we get into a slump, hits like that make me happy," Ramos said. "You have to keep working hard, keep your head up and try to help the team."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.