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05/20/08 12:20 AM ET

Kearns misses second straight game

Slugger reports improvement as X-ray on elbow is negative

WASHINGTION -- Nationals right fielder Austin Kearns was out of the starting lineup on Monday for a second consecutive game because of a sore right elbow.

The elbow is still swollen, but he was able to hit off a tee on Monday afternoon and said he felt much better. Later in the day, Kearns had an X-ray, and the results were negative.

Kearns felt pain in the elbow while taking batting practice on Saturday. When Kearns woke up the next day, the elbow got worse and he was scratched from the lineup and replaced by Elijah Dukes.

"I'm fine. It's better today. We'll see how it goes," Kearns said.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.