Nationals-Braves preview

ATLANTA -- Ryan Zimmerman is set to come off the Washington Nationals disabled list for Saturday night's game against the Atlanta Braves and he can do it without anything weighing on his mind.

Major League Baseball cleared Zimmerman of any violations of the drug policy, announcing Friday that no evidence of wrongdoing was found during an investigation prompted by Al Jazeera America's controversial documentary of steroid use in professional sports.

"Obviously, it's something I expected." Zimmerman said of being cleared. "But just to have the whole situation done, I can move on to finishing the rest of the year, helping this team win for the next month and a half and hopefully win our division and play in some playoff games."

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Zimmerman has been on the disabled list since Aug. 1 with a left wrist contusion since being hit by a pitch and has struggled at the plate when healthy this season.

The veteran first baseman is batting .222 over 80 games with 12 homers and 38 RBIs. He has a .284 on-base percentage and .394 slugging mark.

"It's not something anyone wishes to have to go through," Zimmerman said. "I wouldn't say it distracted me, but it's definitely nice that it's over with."

"I wasn't worried, but I'm very pleased that he was cleared," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It's been a long time. I first heard about it in the winter and it's August."

Zimmerman and Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, also cleared by MLB, will proceed with their defamation lawsuit against Al Jazeera, the segment's reporter and the British athlete who went undercover to catch pharmacist Charlie Sly making claims about athletes he supplied with PEDs.

Zimmerman and catcher Jose Lobaton, out since July 20 because of left elbow tendonitis, traveled to Atlanta on Thursday after a three-game rehab stint with Triple-A Gwinnett, but the Nationals decided to let them work out Friday before activating them from the disabled list.

"Health-wise, I feel great," Zimmerman said.

Max Scherzer (12-7, 2.95 ERA) faces the Braves for the third time this season Saturday, but the first time since his first two starts of the season.

The All-Star right-hander had a no-decision on Opening Night in Atlanta before beating the Braves in Washington, allowing a combined nine hits and six runs over 13 innings.

Scherzer, who is 2-3 with a 3.77 ERA in his career against the Braves, lasted only four innings in a no-decision at Colorado on Monday, but has pitched at least seven innings 16 times in 25 starts.

Scherzer will be opposed by Braves rookie Tyrell Jenkins, who hopes to bounce back from a rough outing Sunday in Washington. He allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings after giving up two total runs in his previous three starts.

Jenkins (2-3, 4.89 ERA) is 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA at home compared to 1-2 with a 6.31 ERA on the road.

Things unraveled for Jenkins in Washington after he walked opposing pitcher Tanner Roark.

"You can't go out and give free passes to these guys," Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. "It's a really good offensive club. You've got to make them earn everything they get."