WASHINGTON (AP) -The Washington Nationals made a flurry of moves after losing their ninth straight game on Saturday, activating closer Chad Cordero from the 15-day disabled list and optioning starter Jason Bergmann to Triple-A Columbus.
After their 10-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves, the team also said they would rush Wily Mo Pena back from his rehabilitation assignment with Columbus.
Pena had no sooner arrived in Charlotte, N.C., for an expected five- or six-game stint with the Clippers when he got word he was expected in Washington for Sunday's game.
He was to have an at-bat or two in Saturday's game for Columbus and to hop on a plane Saturday night.
Washington manager Manny Acta felt he desperately needed Pena back in the lineup.
``This is not about attitude. This is not about confidence. This is about a couple of two-run doubles,'' Acta said. ``We need a guy like him who can intimidate and get up to the plate and take a swing and make everybody jump.''
General manager Jim Bowden - not known for his patience - has vowed not to watch quietly while his team loses.
``It's going to have to change - or we'll make more changes,'' Bowden said.
Bergmann is 0-1 with an 11.68 ERA in three games. He allowed four runs in two innings on Saturday.
Cordero had been placed on the disabled list on April 4, retroactive to March 27. He threw two scoreless innings in two appearances for Class A Potomac in a rehab assignment.
Without Pena, the Nationals' offense has been awful. They're batting just .230, and their only player excelling at the plate is leadoff hitter Cristian Guzman, who is batting .321.
Bowden said that bringing back Pena was not in his plans, but he felt he had no choice.
``Ideally, I would have liked him to have four or five more games,'' Bowden said. ``We'll see if we can't jump-start the offense.''
Shawn Hill will pitch on Sunday for Columbus. Hill has also been on the disabled list with soreness in his right forearm. Bowden is hoping he'll pitch well and that he'll be able to help get the Nationals out of their early-season funk.
``When you do it at the beginning of the year, it's always magnified. It's always blown out of proportion - rightfully so,'' Bowden said. ``Nobody likes to lose this many games in a row. We've got to fix it.''
The nine-game slide isn't the worst in franchise history - not by a long shot. In 1969, as the first-year expansion Montreal Expos, the team dropped 20 straight.
If Washington loses on Sunday, it will be the longest losing streak since the Expos dropped 10 straight from June 23 to July 4, 1991.
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