Chris Marrero, playing his first game this season with the high Single-A Potomac Nationals, smacked the game-deciding single with two outs in the second inning Friday night, as Potomac downed the Salem Red Sox 5-4 in Woodbridge, Va.
Marrero went 2-for-3 in Game 1 of the doubleheader and did not play in Game 2.
He had played two games in low Single-A Hagerstown earlier this week. After getting hit by a pitch on his thumb in that first game, Marrero took a day off and then returned Thursday. He went 1-for-3 in that second game with a double.
Team doctors checked out the thumb, and he was good to go. Marrero was then moved up to Potomac, where he was the designated hitter Friday.
Marrero had not played in a professional game in almost eight months as he recovered from a torn hamstring suffered in winter ball. A shoulder issue slowed his progress in early May until he finally returned this week.
With his play last September in Washington, manager Davey Johnson had envisioned Marrero as a potentially important right-handed bat off the bench for the Nationals this season. But the hamstring injury delayed those plans.
Chad Tracy is out with a right adductor strain, and he was a potent left-handed bat who could play first base. Tyler Moore is back with the big club and is a right-handed power bat who can also play first base and the outfield.
Marrero offers another solution as a right-handed bat, first base substitute and utility hitter off the bench.
Hopefully the three hits in the last two days are a good indication that Marrero is back fully healthy and that he can get to the point where he could be that option. Now after serving as the DH Friday, the next step is to get Marrero in the field and see how the hamstring and shoulder absorb the test on defense.