Abrams returns to lineup, Adams has successful surgery

PITTSBURGH – CJ Abrams is back in the Nationals lineup for tonight’s opener against the Pirates after getting the day off for Sunday’s finale against the Dodgers. The young shortstop was given a day to rest after banging his knee on a slide during Saturday night’s win.

The ailment was never believed to be serious and he was even available to pinch-hit if needed yesterday.

“He feels good,” manager Davey Martinez said during his pregame media session at PNC Park. “Yesterday he could have been available to pinch-hit if we needed him. But I kind of wanted to stay away from him, just give him the whole day. I talked to him yesterday, he was hitting in the cage during the game, he said he felt fine. So it's good to get him back in there.”

Abrams has played in 132 of the Nationals’ 143 games so far this year. The 22-year-old was given extra rest last week (thanks in part to the Nats only having two games against the Mets) after telling his manager he felt like he needed a day.

Since moving to the leadoff spot full-time on July 7, Abrams has usually been backed by Lane Thomas in the No. 2 hole. The 1-2 punch atop the lineup has paced the Nationals' offense ever since, with Abrams slashing .271/.331/.444/.774 with six doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 28 runs, 20 RBIs and 14 walks and Thomas slashing .244/.298/.444/.742 with nine doubles, one triple, 10 homers, 34 runs, 29 RBIs and 12 walks over that stretch.

But tonight will be just the second time the two of them will hit at the top of the order since Sept. 3, with Abrams getting his required rest and dealing with his knee issue and Thomas battling a back injury for a majority of the time since the team returned from Toronto.

“As you know, CJ has been doing well up there and he's getting our team going when he's up in that leadoff spot,” Martinez said. “And when he gets on, Lane’s got a good opportunity to drive him in. Those two guys are a big part of our lineup, so to see them both back together and going 1-2 is awesome.”

* Riley Adams had successful surgery today to repair the fractured hamate bone in his left wrist. The catcher fouled off a pitch Wednesday night and it was determined he would need season-ending surgery. The Nationals expect him to be ready to go by spring training next year.

“Riley Adams had surgery today. Everything went really well, so that's good news. Now he's just gonna rest and recover. As soon as we can get him going, I think it's gonna be 10 to 14 days without really doing much, and then we'll try to get him going and get him ready again for spring training next year.”

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