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Rendon should return to lineup in St. Louis

MLB.com @JamalCollier

CHICAGO -- Anthony Rendon was out of the Nationals' starting lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, missing his second straight start after being hit on the wrist with a pitch during Friday's game. The Nats diagnosed Rendon with a left wrist contusion. X-rays were negative, but he still feels some discomfort when swinging a bat.

Fielding grounders at third base is not an issue for Rendon, but taking four plate appearances might put too much pressure on his wrist, said manager Dave Martinez. Rendon will be available off the bench with the hope he can return to the starting lineup on Monday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

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CHICAGO -- Anthony Rendon was out of the Nationals' starting lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, missing his second straight start after being hit on the wrist with a pitch during Friday's game. The Nats diagnosed Rendon with a left wrist contusion. X-rays were negative, but he still feels some discomfort when swinging a bat.

Fielding grounders at third base is not an issue for Rendon, but taking four plate appearances might put too much pressure on his wrist, said manager Dave Martinez. Rendon will be available off the bench with the hope he can return to the starting lineup on Monday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

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"He swung yesterday, but it's just sore," Martinez said. "We'll see if we need him. He's definitely available to play defense, but throughout the day, he's going to take his swings."

Rendon was plunked in the first inning on Friday, but he played the remainder of the game. Each time he swung and missed, he felt some pain in the wrist, and Martinez thought it was best not to risk further injury.

Rendon has been one of the Nats' most consistent hitters this season. He's played in 91 games and posted an .851 OPS with 16 home runs. Mark Reynolds started at third base in his place.

Doolittle could throw off mound soon
Sean Doolittle felt encouraged after simulating his throwing motion on Sunday afternoon off a mound, testing to see how the stress reaction in his left foot would feel. He could throw off a mound as soon as Monday, which would be his first time doing so since landing on the disabled list last month.

"I know it's baby steps, but it's progress," Doolittle said. "You string enough good days along, string enough good mornings along, and you start to make some progress. The last two or three days have been really really good, so I'm starting to feel really optimistic."

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

Washington Nationals, Anthony Rendon