(Aaron Vincent Elkaim/AP)

“I figured I’d scratch him,” Johnson said. “I like to be on the cautious. He stayed in the training room pretty late last night. Today, he was feeling great. He said he was good to go, and so I’m going to put him in the lineup.”

So Morse got his wish: After going 6 for 10 over the past two days, Morse will face left-hander Josh Outman in the series finale.

“If I had a broken leg and a broken thumb, I’d want to be in the lineup in this ballpark,” Johnson said. “I made him promise, ‘Don’t you be aggravating that hamstring.’ He said, ‘Well, I don’t run that hard anyway.’ ”

Johnson revealed what would have been a fascinating twist: Had Morse been unable to play this afternoon, rookie Tyler Moore would have batted cleanup. Moore, 25, is hitting .455 since the Nationals recalled him from Class AAA Syracuse on June 7, and he has hit homers in the past two games. In the games Moore has started since then, the Nationals are 7-3.

Instead, Moore will bat seventh and move back to left field. Here are the full lineups:


1. Danny Espinosa, 2B

2. Bryce Harper, CF

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Michael Morse, RF

5. Adam LaRoche, 1B

6. Ian Desmond, SS

7. Tyler Moore, LF

8. Jesus Flores, C

9. Edwin Jackson, SP


1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Marco Scutaro, 2B

3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF

4. Todd Helton, 1B

5. Chris Nelson, 3B

6. Tyler Colvin, RF

7. Wil Nieves, C

8. Jonathan Herrera, SS

9. Josh Outman, SP