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Jayson Werth returns to Nationals' lineup for series opener with the Twins...

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Jayson Werth's off day on Thursday was already scheduled before he tweaked his left hamstring according to Washington Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker. Werth's back in the lineup today for the Nats' series opener with the Minnesota Twins.

Photo © and courtesy the @Nationals on the Twitter.
Photo © and courtesy the @Nationals on the Twitter.

Dusty Baker told reporters after the third game of Washington's four-game set with the Marlins in Miami that Nationals' left fielder Jayson Werth had tweaked something in his left hamstring.

Werth sat out of the series finale, but Baker planned to give him off the yesterday anyway, he explained, and he wasn't too concerned about it being a long-term issue.

"He just felt something like a tightness in his hamstring, and so he's off tomorrow anyway, before the day started, so I just thought as a precaution we need to take him out and take care of it," Baker said.

When this evening's lineup was released, Werth, who told reporters on Wednesday night that he was fine, and would be fine, was penciled back in as the starting left fielder.

"He's fine," Baker said this afternoon. "And so he's in there today and I'm hoping he'll be in there the whole weekend, so got to keep an eye on him.

"Have my eye on if I see any strange movements or whatever, but it's nice out there and I'm hoping it stays nice. It will be good for the muscles."

Werth made two impressive plays in the outfield before he left Wednesday night's game with the hamstring issue, and the 36-year-old outfielder has shown signs of life at the plate too after a slow (1 for 16) start to his 14th major league season.

Over his last eight games, before he sat out the finale in Miami, Werth was 7 for 27 (.259/.310/.593) with three doubles and two home runs in 29 plate plate appearances.

The second home run of the season for Werth was the 200th of his career, something he told MASN's Dan Kolko was special because he was unsure at one point if he would ever play again after suffering a serious wrist injury early in his career.

"I know there was a time where I didn't think I was going to get to play again," he explained. "That was a long time ago, but I still think about it every once in a while, so anything that has happened since has really just been gravy, because when you have those thoughts and you don't think you'll ever get a chance to play again, every day is like a blessing to play this game. So I'm just happy to be part of this team, this organization, and having fun with my teammates, but hopefully there is more to come."

Here's the lineup for tonight's series opener with the visiting Minnesota Twins: