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Drew activated off 15-day disabled list

MLB.com @WashingNats

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals bolstered their lineup Wednesday by activating infielder Stephen Drew from the 15-day disabled list prior to their 5-4 walk-off win vs. the Braves.

Drew returns to the Nationals after missing 40 games due to vertigo-like symptoms. Drew's problems started during the week of July 19, when he caught the flu. For four days, he didn't eat or drink anything because of a high fever. After he recovered from the flu, Drew started having problems with his right inner ear. A few weeks later, Drew received a shot and the symptoms started to subside.

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals bolstered their lineup Wednesday by activating infielder Stephen Drew from the 15-day disabled list prior to their 5-4 walk-off win vs. the Braves.

Drew returns to the Nationals after missing 40 games due to vertigo-like symptoms. Drew's problems started during the week of July 19, when he caught the flu. For four days, he didn't eat or drink anything because of a high fever. After he recovered from the flu, Drew started having problems with his right inner ear. A few weeks later, Drew received a shot and the symptoms started to subside.

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"I got a shot in here about two weeks ago," Drew said. "I started noticing benefits from that. It's not all the way gone yet, but it's a lot better than it was. There's still sometimes that it's hit-or-miss, but for the most part, it's pretty good. So that's the good thing. Hopefully it just kind of keeps going in the direction we want."

Once Drew felt ready to play, he went 3-for-12 (.250) with two RBIs in five rehab games with Class A Potomac.

"I wish I'd have gotten back soon, honestly, but that's why I went down [to Potomac]," Drew said. "It was like, 'Hey, let me go get as many games as they got left down there, just to get at-bats, play the field and kind of see how that goes.'

"I wish I could've gotten back up [to the Major Leagues] right after the sickness, but it didn't work that way. The cards weren't in the mix there. So right now, it's fun to be back."

Baker said he is going to be cautious in terms of how he is going to use Drew, who could pinch-hit in Wednesday's game, but playing defense could be another matter.

"Hitting is probably the easiest part as of right now," Baker said. "The hardest part would be that you don't know how he's going to be if he gets tired late in a game. Or if he has a lot of plays and has to bend over. These are things that are hard to simulate. Fortunately for us, we do have enough players to substitute in if we have to do that. He would have been playing tonight, but I wasn't sure. I wanted to see him in a less-action kind of situation, especially at third. It's such a reactionary position. I have my eyes on him."

Drew entered the game in the late innings and went 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.

Drew has been arguably Washington's best player off the bench, going 6-for-20 (.300) with three home runs and six RBIs as a pinch-hitter. Overall, Drew is hitting .269 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs in 52 games.

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Washington Nationals, Stephen Drew