By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Darnell Coles has been hired by the Washington Nationals as their hitting coach. The move returns him to an organization he worked for in the minor leagues and reunites him with manager Dave Martinez, a former teammate. Coles was most recently the hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who fired him in June during his third season there. He replaces Kevin Long, who left the Nationals to become the hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals finished last in the NL East with a 65-97 record. Their batters struck out the fewest times in the NL last season and led the 15-team league with a .258 average, but the club ranked ninth in runs.