Hairston smacks RBI double in rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse

Nationals outfielder Scott Hairston (oblique strain) had a positive rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Syracuse.

Hairston played left field, going 1-for-3, with an RBI double and a walk. He also grounded into a double play. His double scored Josh Johnson from second to tie the game in the third inning. The Chiefs went on to win the game, 4-3.

The rehab assignment is expected to last four games, which would take him through the weekend with Syracuse, He could then return to D.C. with the Nats on Monday as they welcome in the L.A. Dodgers.

* The Nationals have 14 games at home in May and 13 away. But nine of the next 12 are on the road. They are currently in a span of 11 of 14 on the road after a 5-6 home stand. The N.L. East matchups begin Friday night in Philadelphia with three against the Phillies. The Mets arrive at Nats Park May 16-18 and the Marlins venture to D.C. May 26-28.

That's it. The other 18 games are out of division. The Dodgers (17-12) and Oakland A's (18-10) provide the biggest challenges based on their April performances.

The Nats face the Diamondbacks on the road May 12-14. They have the worst record in baseball at 9-22 and they are an astounding 3-15 at home.

The Mets arrive at Nats Park, May 16-18 and have gone 15-9 since the Nationals swept them to begin the season. New York is 7-4 on the road this season.

The Reds have had an up and down start (13-15) and are 7-9 on road. The Pirates (10-18) have struggles with their starting pitching, with a combined plus-4.00 ERA, and just got swept out of Baltimore. They are 6-8 at PNC Park. The Nats will be in the Steel City May 23-25.

Miami is 14-14 and has won three in a row. Their home-and-away splits provide big gaps. The Marlins are 12-4 at home and 2-10 on the road. The Nationals swept the Fish in D.C. in early April.

The Rangers arrive at the end of May. Texas is 15-13 but has lost three straight.

* It is too bad second baseman Tony Renda was forced to the disabled list for the Single-A Potomac Nationals in mid-April. He was off to a scorching start. Renda was hitting .375 with two doubles, three stolen bases and eight RBIs in the team's first eight games. His on-base percentage was .400.

* Outfielder Destin Hood moved up to Triple-A Syracuse, with Eury Perez being placed on the disabled list. Outfielder Randolph Oduber promoted to Double-A Harrisburg. Right-hander Warren Madrigal was moved to Harrisburg. Left-hander Matthew Spann moved from Single-A Hagerstown to Single-A Potomac. Outfielder Will Piwnica-Worms was moved back to Potomac from Syracuse. Right-hander Brian Dupra transferred to Potomac from Harrisburg.

It is a big deal to see how Hood can carry in Triple-A, even if it is just for the Perez injury. But if he shines, the Nationals could make moves to keep him there, especially with Tyler Moore and Steven Souza, Jr. taking outfield depth to the big leagues.

Hood went 1-for-4 in his Syracuse debut, and is batting .325 in the minors this season over 20 games.

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