SF@CIN Gm5: Marshall tosses two shutout relief frames

WASHINGTON -- The return of left-hander Sean Marshall appears to be getting closer.

Marshall re-joined the Reds in Washington on Thursday after making two rehab appearances for Triple-A Louisville this week. He was eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday and threw a perfect first inning Monday night against Indianapolis. Marshall also added a shutout inning Thursday against Gwinnett.

"I'm feeling great," Marshall said. "I felt good. I felt strong. I felt healthy. I threw all my pitches again, [and] all's going well. Just waiting for the final call."

Manager Dusty Baker also seemed optimistic in regard to Marshall. Before Thursday's series opener with the Nationals, Baker said the team wants to see how Marshall felt after Wednesday's effort.

In addition, the skipper also said it's probably good to give Marshall a day or two to rest from his last outing even if the Reds do activate him. But Marshall's certainly almost there.

"It's close," Baker said. "It's real close. He said he's feeling good, so we'll see."

Marshall has pitched just one game so far this season. He faced the Nationals on April 7 but went on disabled list April 10 due to tendinitis in his left shoulder.

Hanigan hopes to resume activity soon

MIA@CIN: Hanigan holds on and retires Pierre at plate

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Hanigan said his recovery from left oblique and thumb issues is coming along well so far.

Hanigan is officially on the DL for the oblique issue, and has been there since Sunday. His right thumb also is bothering him, and the catcher said he's working on getting everything back together.

He's not eligible to come off the DL until May 5, but Hanigan is hoping to do more in the coming days.

"It's coming along, rest is making everything slowly get better," Hanigan said before the series opener in Washington on Thursday. "My side feels pretty good; my thumb's on its way. I'm going to give it a couple more days just to make sure, and then start doing some stuff."

Hanigan will hope to fare better once he returns to the field, as the catcher had gotten off to a very slow start in 2013, batting .079 (3-for-38).

Worth noting

• Baker said he's a bit puzzled about the fact that his Reds won't see Washington any more this season after this weekend's series. The teams met in Cincinnati earlier in the month. Last year, the two clubs didn't play each other again after May 13.

• Cincinnati pitchers struck out at least 10 straight batters in six consecutive games before Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Cubs. They struck out 13 in three straight games last weekend.

• The Reds entered Thursday leading the Major Leagues in hit by pitches with 13. Shin-Soo Choo had been a huge help there, getting hit 10 times coming into Thursday's series opener in Washington.