Plunking forces Johnson out of lineup

Plunking forces Johnson out of lineup

Plunking forces Johnson out of lineup
HOUSTON -- Third baseman Chris Johnson was held out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's game against the Cubs because of swelling and bruising on the back of his left arm, near his elbow. Johnson was hit by a pitch in Tuesday's win and still didn't have his full range of motion to swing.

"It's swollen today and I had a little trouble bending it," he said. "I tried to put a patch on it last night to get the swelling down and came in today and it was swollen and black and blue in there. It was right on my elbow. I'm going to take some hacks today and try to fight through it."

With Johnson out of the lineup, Matt Downs started in his place at third base. Johnson's three hit by pitches are the most in the Majors this year. He was hitting .189 (7-for-37) through Tuesday's game but was hoping to return to the lineup Wednesday.

"Hopefully the swelling will be down tomorrow just so I can get that range of motion back," he said. "It's not really too painful. I just can't extend my arm."