It looks like third baseman Anthony Rendon is very close to returning to the active roster. Rendon has gone through full batting practice each of the last two pregames for the Nationals. He has been on the 10-day disabled list with a left toe contusion since April 19.
Rendon will start a rehab assignment for high Single-A Potomac as they take on Wilmington Thursday and Salem Friday in Woodbridge, Va.
"He's going out tomorrow," said manager Davey Martinez. "He'll play one or two games. He ran today, looked good. He said he's ready. We'll get him some at-bats and play a full game. He might DH and then play third or he just might play third and see how he feels."
Rendon was hitting .286 in 14 games with four doubles, one homer and four RBIs prior to the injury.
* Matt Adams remains in the starting lineup, playing first base tonight to give Ryan Zimmerman the night off. He will bat No. 3 spot again. Last night he hit a pair of homers and also had an RBI single. The Pirates will send out right-hander Ivan Nova.
"He's really seeing the ball well against right-handed pitching," Martinez said. "It's really good. It actually gives us little bit more depth in our lineup, and some more power. I just hope that he keeps going. He's seeing the ball really well and he's hitting the ball well.
Adams played left field last night and spoke postgame on how he is working on his defense with outfield instructor Bobby Henley.
"He works everyday with Bobby out there," Martinez said. "He's trying to get better every day. He's doing really well. Having him out there whether it's there or to play first base every now and then. It's good to have him in the lineup."
* Wilmer Difo reached base in each of his four plate appearances last night in the Nats 12-4 win. Difo had a homer, was hit by a pitch and scored another run, a walk and a run scored and a single in the eighth.
Martinez had a hilarious take on Difo's first home run of the season.
"Difo hit his first one and you'd of thought it was his 500th," said Martinez. "It was fun. It was a lot of fun."
Difo is versatile enough to play any spot in the infield, and even has played in the outfield at times.
"He had a great game," Martinez said. "I love when Difo plays. I really do. He brings a lot of energy. He can do a lot of special things. We put him at shortstop and he made an unbelievable play yesterday. He's a special character and I enjoy being around him. I really do.
"Full of energy. I thought I had a lot of energy? This guy has more energy than I have. He's ready to go every day. Constantly communicating, talking. Trying to get his teammates fired up. It's a lot of fun."
Did Martinez see Difo throwing pitches on the side during batting practice Tuesday? Stephen Strasburg was even giving him pointers.
"Yeah, I didn't want to see that," Martinez said. "If you're asking, he can do everything. He brings a big smile every day. I love being around him."