Ryan Zimmerman plays three innings in extended spring game

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Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman landed on the disabled list during the second week of April with a strained abdominal muscle. He was only expected to miss about 15 days, but the strain didn’t heal as quickly as all had hoped and he wound up undergoing sports hernia surgery on April 30.

Zimmerman finally made some semblance of progress on Wednesday, according to MLB.com’s Steven Miller, playing three innings in an extended spring training game down in Viera, Florida.

He’ll probably play a five-inning game later this week then a seven-inning game this weekend, all building up toward an eventual minor league rehab assignment.

If Zimmerman is able to avoid more setbacks — which is no guarantee given how much trouble this injury has caused him — he could be back in the Nationals’ starting lineup within the next two weeks.

The 26-year-old was 10-for-28 with a homer, a triple and four RBI in eight games before suffering the ab strain.

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.