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Nationals activate Ramos from DL, option Leon

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CHICAGO -- The Nationals got their catcher back on Thursday, when Wilson Ramos was reinstated from the disabled list. Ramos, who last played on June 10, missed two weeks with a strained right hamstring, and the Nationals optioned backup catcher Sandy Leon to Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday.

Ramos, 26, entered Thursday batting .261 with eight extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in 24 games this season. If the performances he put together during his rehab assignment are any indication, he's ready to go. Ramos went 7-for-16 (.438) with a double, two homers and nine RBI in four rehab games, two with Double-A Harrisburg and two with Class A Potomac.

He gave his numbers a small boost with an impressive two-hit game. Ramos also scored a run in the Nationals' 5-3 loss on Thursday.

Ramos said the best part about the rehab games is that he did so much running on the basepaths, which allowed him to test the hamstring and ultimately gave him confidence he could run without restrictions. He maintained that he'll only run hard when he absolutely needs to, though.

"Just, when I run home to first, [if it's] an easy out then I don't have to go 100 percent in that situation," Ramos said. "If it's a double down the line, I'm going like normal. I never run harder than I need to to play. I need to play smart, not necessarily run hard. I don't have to do that, but sometimes if the situation says I have to run hard, then I have to do it, so I have to be ready for that."

Ramos added that he plans to make some tweaks to his leg workouts. He said he'll avoid heavy leg lifting because it could make his hamstring tighten up. Ramos was slotted seventh in Thursday's lineup, which Nationals manager Matt Williams said was part of easing him back into things. Williams reiterated what Ramos said about holding back on the basepaths when applicable, but isn't worried about his catcher aggravating his right hamstring.

"We'll try to make sure we bubble wrap him as much as possible, especially here early on and get him through some games here," Williams said. "He feels good, though."

Prior to his injury, Ramos had started seven of Washington's nine games in June. Ramos has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games and is batting .346 (18-for-52) in that span.

Leon, 25, hit .169 (10-for-59) in 18 games for the Nationals this season.

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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