Anthony Rendon begins minor league rehab assignment

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Good news here for the Nationals, as third baseman Anthony Rendon began a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg last night as he works his way back from a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee.

Rendon, who hurt his knee on a diving play in early March, played five innings at third base last night and went 1-for-2 with a double. He told James Wagner of the Washington Post that the pain is gone in his knee and he’s now trying to shake the rust and make up for lost time.

“Everything is good,” he said. “Getting back into the swing of things and trying to feel comfortable.”

Rendon will play seven innings today before getting the day off Sunday. He’ll then play seven innings again before staying in for a full game. He could be ready to join the Nationals for the start of a four-game series against the Mets next Thursday at Citi Field.

The Nationals weren’t at full strength to begin the year and have sputtered to a 7-10 start, but getting Rendon back in the lineup will be a big lift. While he didn’t get as much attention as he deserved, he proved to be the team’s most valuable player last season by batting .287/.351/.473 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI, and 17 stolen bases.

Jorge Soler hits Royals’ first home run in nearly two weeks

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The 16-31, last place Royals had a power outage lasting nearly two weeks. Entering Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Cardinals, Jorge Soler had hit the club’s most recent home run, a solo shot off of the Phillies’ Jake Arrieta in the sixth inning on May 10. That time frame spanned eight games.

Soler ended the home run drought, hitting a three-run round-tripper off of Michael Wacha to cap off a six-run third inning in the first game of the twin billing, staking the Royals to a 7-0 lead.

Soler, 27, is now batting .249/.303/.497 with 11 homers, 30 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 198 plate appearances on the season. He’s the only member of the Royals currently in double-digits in homers, though Hunter Dozier (nine) and Alex Gordon (eight) should soon join him.