Ryan Zimmerman to begin playing in extended spring training games

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Good news for the pathetic Nationals’ offense.

Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that Ryan Zimmerman will play “several innings” tomorrow in his first extended spring training game.

Zimmerman has been limited to just eight games this season due to an abdominal injury. He was initially placed on the disabled list on April 12 and had surgery to repair a torn rectus muscle in his abdomen on May 3.

The Nats’ third baseman wrote about his rehab in a blog post with CSNWashington.com earlier today:

If you haven’t seen, I’ve been out of the lineup for a while rehabbing an abdominal tear that occurred a few months ago. I attempted to rehab it without surgery for the first few weeks, and I just couldn’t get it back to where I needed to be full strength. Dr. Meyers in Philadelphia is the best in the business for this procedure, and after some heavy thinking, we decided it was the best idea to go ahead with the surgery.

In just four short weeks, I’m already almost back to full baseball activities and will be joining an affiliate shortly to get a couple of games under my belt before returning to D.C.

Zimmerman was originally expected to miss 6-to-8 weeks following surgery, so he’s currently on track to return sometime in the middle of June.

Nationals’ third basemen have combined to bat .274 entering Tuesday’s action, which sounds just dandy, but they only have three homers and 16 RBI. And that includes Zimmerman’s one home run and four RBI prior to going on the disabled list.

Video: Athletics tie home run record on the road

Franklin Barreto, Stephen Piscotty, Mark Canha
AP Images
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The Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.

Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.

The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.