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Nationals Report

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HILL SET TO THROW AGAIN

VIERA, Fla. - His arm still feeling good a day after his first spring training appearance in three weeks, right-hander Shawn Hill will start again Friday, four days after his two-strikeout inning against the Florida Marlins.

Hill is taking anti-inflammatory medication for a sore right elbow, the latest in his recurring series of arm troubles. But he threw 16 pitches Monday, including 12 for strikes, and reported no pain afterward. He was still feeling fine Tuesday, so instead of throwing between starts, the Nationals elected to move him up a day.

The move has two purposes. First, it keeps Hill from sharing a day with Jordan Zimmermann, as the two did Monday. Second, it's one less day the Nationals have to wait before increasing Hill's workload in an effort to get him ready for the start of the season.

Manager Manny Acta said Hill will throw two innings Friday against the Detroit Tigers.

Hill wasn't the only presumptive starter to make steps toward recovery from an injury. Catcher Jesus Flores, who has been out since Feb. 28 with a strained right elbow, hit off a tee Tuesday, and Acta said he's still on track to be the Opening Day catcher.

First baseman Dmitri Young, however, isn't ready to get on the field yet. He had an MRI on his stiff back that revealed no structural damage but will continue to receive treatment from trainers.

NATIONALS INTRASQUAD HIGHLIGHTS

Washington split into two squads for an intrasquad game on its off day; Team 2 beat Team 1 by a score of 9-4.

Justin Maxwell went 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs for Team 2. Julian Tavarez, making his first appearance in a Nationals uniform, earned the win. He worked two innings, striking out four and giving up one hit for Team 1. Kip Wells also appeared for the first time, allowing three hits and two runs in two innings.

- Ben Goessling

TEMPERATURE CHECK

SHAWN HILL [UP]

So far, still healthy; Nationals staying optimistic about his chances

DMITRI YOUNG [DOWN]

Back problems reducing his already slim chances of making team

DANIEL ESPINOSA [UP]

Last year's third-round pick hit a long three-run homer in intrasquad game

QUOTABLE

“I'm not a fiction guy. I leave Harry Potter to my daughter.”

- Nationals manager Manny Acta on his choice of reading material

WEDNESDAY'S WEATHER

Washington: Sunny, 67 degrees

Viera: Partly cloudy, 77 degrees

THREE-DAY SCHEDULE

Wednesday: vs. Marlins in Viera, 7 p.m.

Thursday: vs. Orioles in Viera, 1 p.m.

Friday: vs. Tigers in Lakeland, 1 p.m.

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