Johnson nursing strained muscle on left side

Johnson nursing strained muscle on left side

PITTSBURGH -- Astros third baseman Chris Johnson, who was scratched from the lineup Sunday in Chicago with a strained muscle on his left side, was instructed not to swing a bat Monday and is still a couple of days away from returning to the lineup.

"I woke up today and it felt better," he said. "They told me not to hit today, and hopefully, tomorrow I can come in and swing the bat. Right now, we're just day to day."

Astros manager Brad Mills won't put Johnson in the lineup until he's swinging the bat pain-free. Johnson is hitting .280 with six homers and 34 RBIs this year.

"We're just not going to stick him in the lineup," Mills said. "He was pretty sore [Sunday] after batting practice, and we were kind of concerned about it."

Scott Moore started at third Monday against Pittsburgh.