(Jonathan Newton/WP)

To help loosen his back and alleviate the tightness that held him out of two games, Adam LaRoche received treatment while in Cincinnati. Once back in Washington on Monday’s off day, he visited a specialist who massaged the troublesome back. LaRoche can still feel the stiffness in his back but far less than before and enough to play on Tuesday.

“Loosened it up a ton,” said LaRoche, who got extra early work in the batting cages before Tuesday’s game. “I feel it, but nothing like it was.”

LaRoche, 33, thinks his back stiffness emerged from his left hip. He said he has long played with a sore hip — nothing serious, he added — which requires constant maintenance, treatment and isn’t noticeable. LaRoche, who has previously dealt with back stiffness resulting from his hip, said he doesn’t think he’ll specifically need constant maintenance on his back.

“But I’ve always had maintenance on my hip in general,” he said. “I’ll continue to do that. I think the weather was a big part of it. We were grinding on my hip a lot and with the cold weather It came up and hit a nerve in my back and locked up.”

>>> Rafael Soriano had a minor leg tweak when he broke to cover home following his wild pitch against the Reds on Saturday, Manager Davey Johnson said. But he said it is not an issue and Soriano reported no issues before Tuesday’s game.