Gordon resumes catalyst role in first game off DL

Gordon resumes catalyst role in first game off DL

MIAMI -- Out of the lineup since July 11, Dee Gordon wasted little time getting back into action on Tuesday in the Marlins' 4-1 win over the Nationals at Marlins Park.

Gordon jumped on the first pitch Jordan Zimmermann threw and ripped a single to left in the first inning. The solid contact was reassuring since the All-Star second baseman had been on the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb.

"I needed to get the jitters out of the way, so I went ahead and swung at the first pitch," Gordon said.

Zimmermann throws out Gordon

Gordon ran the bases wearing a protective guard on his left hand. He did get picked off trying to steal second, but the speedster made a huge impact in the sixth inning with a leadoff triple, which set up a two-run inning that gave Miami the lead to stay.

"I haven't played in a while," Gordon said. "And Jordan Zimmermann is a great pitcher. Any time you go against those guys coming off an injury, it's tough."

Gordon actually looked like he didn't miss a beat. He was 2-for-3 with a run scored. His sacrifice bunt set up Miami's fourth run.

Gordon on returning from DL

Back in the leadoff spot, it was the 27-year-old's first game with Miami since he injured his thumb sliding headfirst into first base on July 11. The two hits raised his batting average to .341 with 124 hits and 33 stolen bases.

"He's been our catalyst all year," manager Dan Jennings said. "The fact that he brings the energy and he's healthy -- I think we're very lucky and blessed that it was the minimum time on the DL and it's a welcomed sight."

Gordon participated in a rehab-assignment game Monday night with Class A Advanced Jupiter and went 1-for-4.

It was his only game action since sustaining the injury, but both Gordon and the Marlins felt that it was all he needed. In addition to the rehab game, the second baseman had also recently been hitting off a tee and taking batting practice.

"Dee just has that spark about him," Jennings said. "That's the way he plays, the way he lifts everybody, and he's having an All-Star year. It's nice to have him back at the front end of the lineup."

In a corresponding move, infielder Donovan Solano was placed on the paternity list. Additionally, infielder Miguel Rojas -- who exited Sunday's game in San Diego with a right shoulder injury after making a diving stop -- is feeling better and was available, giving Jennings a full bench.

In 11 games without Gordon, the Marlins went 4-7.

"Just having a leadoff guy that gets on base as much as Dee and steals and scores a lot of runs ... he's going to be huge for our lineup," catcher J.T. Realmuto said before Tuesday night's game. "We'll hopefully start producing some more runs and getting more wins."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.