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Rendon returns from DL in Cinco de Mayo style

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- As an eight-piece mariachi band played in the Nationals' clubhouse on Saturday afternoon, brought in by manager Dave Martinez for Cinco De Mayo, third baseman Anthony Rendon emerged from the back room. Martinez marched him to the middle of the room, where Rendon danced a little two-step as his teammates cheered, "Tony's back."

Indeed, Rendon was activated from the disabled list for Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Phillies, where he started at third base and batted second. Rendon went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout. Adrian Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room on the roster.

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WASHINGTON -- As an eight-piece mariachi band played in the Nationals' clubhouse on Saturday afternoon, brought in by manager Dave Martinez for Cinco De Mayo, third baseman Anthony Rendon emerged from the back room. Martinez marched him to the middle of the room, where Rendon danced a little two-step as his teammates cheered, "Tony's back."

Indeed, Rendon was activated from the disabled list for Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Phillies, where he started at third base and batted second. Rendon went 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout. Adrian Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room on the roster.

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It was Rendon's first game since fouling a ball off his left big toe on April 13. He was eventually placed on the DL with a left big toe contusion, although he revealed to the Washington Post on Friday night that the toe was actually broken. He appeared in two Minor League rehabilitation games at Class A Advanced Potomac, where he went 5-for-8 with two doubles and three runs scored.

"He looked good," Martinez said. "He looked real good. Had some good walks. Ran well. So he'll be out there tomorrow."

Washington's lineup had been on fire entering Saturday, riding a season-best six-game winning streak where the team was outscoring opponents 59-25. Injecting Rendon into that lineup can only help. He was hitting .286/.355/.411 in 14 games before he landed on the DL. In Rendon's absence, the Nationals moved Bryce Harper into the leadoff spot, which has coincided with the team's hot streak. Martinez contemplated a few different lineup combinations with Rendon back, ultimately slotting him into the No. 2 slot while giving Trea Turner a day off.

Rendon has acknowledged he still feels some soreness in his toe, but it has been reduced to the kind of lingering pain when a player fouls a ball off his foot. He wore a guard on his foot during his rehab assignment that he wore for Saturday's game. Still, Martinez said he did not expect any restrictions for Rendon, but would still monitor him during the next few days.

"We'll see how it goes," Martinez said. "If he gets a little sore, gets tender, I might have to give him a day, but I'm going by what he told me today and he said it feels good."

Worth noting
Trevor Gott is day to day with a left ankle sprain. Martinez said he did not plan to use Gott Saturday, but he would be reevaluated the rest of the weekend.

Ryan Zimmerman was a late scratch from the lineup after he felt a little stiffness in his side when he arrived on Saturday afternoon. Martinez said the stiffness lingered from him diving for a ball the Friday night, so he did not want to take a chance.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Anthony Rendon