Updated at 5:43 p.m.
ATLANTA -- Injured utilityman Jerry Hairston will join the Nationals in Houston tonight and be activated off the 15-day disabled list in time for tomorrow's series opener against the Astros, according to a club source.
To clear space on the roster for Hairston, the Nationals optioned infielder Brian Bixler to Class AAA Syracuse following today's 9-8 loss to the Braves. Bixler was hitting .196 with one extra-base hit in 45 games, but he had contributed to several recent victories with his baserunning.
Hairston hasn't played since June 29 in Anaheim, when he took a fastball from the Angels' Dan Haren off his right wrist, suffering a slight fracture in the process. The 35-year-old hoped to play through the injury, but it was severe enough to require a stint on the DL.
Hairston spent the last two nights on a rehab assignment with Class AA Harrisburg, where he went 1-for-6 with two walks while playing shortstop. The Nationals initially wanted him to play a third rehab game, but the Senators play a rare, 6 p.m. Sunday night game and team officials didn't want to take a chance on Hairston not making it to Houston in time for tomorrow's opener against the Astros.
Before suffering the injury, Hairston was on a hot streak at the plate. He hit .458 with a .567 on-base percentage over his last 12 games, seeing considerable time in left field as part of a platoon with Laynce Nix. For the season, he's hitting .260 with a .335 on-base percentage.