Josh Hamilton's fractured ribs feeling better after injections

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Josh Hamilton reported feeling better yesterday after receiving an epidural injection and several cortisone shots for his fractured ribs earlier this week, but there’s still no timetable yet for his return.
Hamilton rode a stationary bike for 15 minutes yesterday and also did what T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com described as “some light exercises.” Here’s what he said afterward:

Today was the first day I got my breath going and was out of breath. That’s encouraging. The shots seem to be helping with the pain factor. I’m going to keep doing something every day as long as it’s not setting me back.

Upon being diagnosed with the rib fractures Hamilton expressed hope that he could rejoin the lineup for the final 4-5 games of the season, but according to Sullivan the goal is now for the MVP candidate to return for the final three games with an eye toward getting him “12-15 at-bats in preparation for the playoffs.”

Dave Martinez undergoes cardiac catheterization, return date unknown

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Nationals manager Dave Martinez left the team in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 7-0 win over the Braves to go to the hospital as a precautionary measure, Todd Dybas of NBC Sports Washington reported. Bench coach Chip Hale took over as manager for the remainder of the game.

Per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post, GM Mike Rizzo said Martinez felt chest pains and underwent a cardiac catheterization today. The procedure assesses the heart’s condition. The team doesn’t know yet when Martinez will return.

With Hale continuing to fill in as manager, Tim Bogar will act as the bench coach in place of Hale and Joe Dillon will coach first base in place of Bogar.

The Nationals enter play Monday leading the first NL Wild Card by 1.5 games over the Cubs. The Nationals open up a six-game road trip with three games against the Cardinals starting Monday night. Stephen Strasburg will oppose Dakota Hudson.