Ramos expected to return to Nats' lineup tomorrow (the deficit increases)

Assuming all goes well tonight, the Nationals should have Wilson Ramos back in their starting lineup tomorrow.

Ramos, who has missed the last 43 games with a strained left hamstring, will play in his fifth rehab game tonight. He'll serve as the designated hitter for high Single-A Potomac, and is slated to play a full nine innings.

Barring any setbacks, manager Davey Johnson said Ramos will not only be activated off the disabled list tomorrow, but he'll likely be behind the plate in the 11 a.m. series finale against the Brewers.

"If the reports I get are good, it'll be good to get him back," Johnson said.

Ramos has gone 0-for-10 with a walk and a strikeout over his four rehab games to this point, two of which were with the Gulf Coast League Nats and the other two with Potomac.

Ramos caught a full nine innings last night, and while he went 0-for-3, he didn't have any health issues.

Johnson had been alternating Ramos and fellow catcher Kurt Suzuki earlier this season when Ramos was healthy, and it sounds like Suzuki will continue to get his share of playing time, even if Ramos gets the larger share of starts.

"With the amount of time he's had and the length of his rehab, early on I started doing him every other day because I was worried about the knee," Johnson said. "And then when he came back from the hamstring, I was doing him every other day and I was going to do that for about 10 days and then I was going to catch him three days in a row.

"But there shouldn't be, with the length of time he's had, I think he's been out about 50 days, he's been doing a whole lot of catching, running, whatever. So I plan on catching him tomorrow. I might even catch him the next game, too, because the next game's a night game. We'll see. He needs to make it through tonight."

Ramos has hit .250/.308/.438 with two homers and six RBIs in 14 games this season.

Update: Since scoring 23 runs in an 18-inning span on Sunday and Monday, the Nats have been held scoreless over their last 14 innings.

One step forward, one step back.

The Nats have managed just three hits through five innings off Brewers starter Kyle Lohse, and they trail 2-0 as we go to the sixth.

Ross Detwiler held Milwaukee scoreless through his first four frames, but the Brewers got to the left-hander in the fifth, stringing together three hits and scoring two runs on Norichika Aoki's single to center. Sean Halton and Logan Schafer came around on the single, giving the Brewers the lead.

Detwiler has looked fairly sharp early on, using his breaking ball more than normal and striking out three through five.

But the Nats again haven't managed anything offensively, and they'll need to come back in this one to avoid dropping two straight games to a team that entered today 16 games under .500.

Update II: Two more runs came in for Milwaukee in the sixth, but both are unearned for Detwiler. They came around after Bryce Harper had an Aramis Ramirez sinking liner bounce off his glove for an error leading off the inning.

Harper came in and tried to make a sliding grab of the line drive, but his slide wasn't a smooth one. The ball kicked off the toe of his glove and fell to the turf, and four batters later, Schafer delivered a two-out, two-run triple to make it a 4-0 game.

While Harper wasn't given an error for his dropped fly ball in the eighth inning last night, he was on this play. The Nats' left fielder then struck out in the bottom of the sixth, making him 0-for-10 with three strikeouts and a walk since that dramatic homer in his first at-bat off the DL on Monday.

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