While their injury issues have played a role in their recent slump, the Washington Nationals could get a boost offensively in the opener of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Ryan Zimmerman will likely return to the lineup on Friday night as he looks to help the Nationals win their third straight on a seven-game road trip.
After hitting .282 with 25 homers and 95 RBIs in 2012, Zimmerman was batting .226 with one homer and 11 RBIs before suffering a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss the last 14 games.
Without the star third baseman, Washington has scored 37 runs while batting .197 with nine homers.
The Nationals (15-14) scored three times over the first two innings Thursday before coming up empty the rest of the way in a 3-1 victory that gave them a four-game split in Atlanta.
Bryce Harper was able to play after bruising his left shoulder a day earlier, but Jayson Werth could miss this series after leaving for a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. Werth...