D-Rob pitches, survives

WASHINGTON -- David Robertson returned to the mound in a big-league game for the first time in more than a month and allowed a run on two hits, one of them a long double to the gap by Mike Morse.

The important thing to Robertson, however, was, "I came out in one piece."

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Robertson pitched the ninth in his return to action.

Robertson showed some rust in his first appearance since May 11, the game in which he suffered the strained left oblique that landed him on the DL, but said he felt "really good," especially since he came out of the inning with no soreness in his side.

"I gave up (a run), but in a situation where it really doesn't matter," he said. "Still finished the ballgame. I felt good and I'm ready for the next one."

Joe Girardi, too, seemed relieved that his set-up man appears to be healthy enough to return to his former role on a daily basis.

"It might take him a few times to get back to who he is," Girardi said. "I thought tonight was a step in the right direction. He didn't hold his side, so things are good."

As he was on Wednesday in Atlanta, Robertson seemed the most thrilled just to be out of the minor leagues.

"I'm very excited to be back here pitching in the big leagues," he said, looking around the spacious visitor's clubhouse at Nationals Park. "It's a little better than Batavia."