Stephen Strasburg adds curveballs to his throwing sessions

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Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg threw fastballs at full effort earlier this week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last September.

On Thursday, according to beat writer Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the 22-year-old phenom began working in curveballs.

Strasburg has experienced no setbacks in his surgically-repaired right elbow since beginning a throwing program in early February and could begin pitching in minor league rehab games later this summer if everything continues to go smoothly.

The Nats haven’t completely ruled out the possibility of him returning to the majors at some point in 2011, but it’s highly unlikely to happen. Strasburg is simply too important to the franchise’s long-term hope for success.

Wilson Ramos suffers head injury on Ruben Tejada’s backswing

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Rays catcher Wilson Ramos had to exit Monday night’s game against the Orioles in the fifth inning after suffering a head injury. Ruben Tejada broke his bat on a ground out and the barrel hit Ramos in his helmet. Rich Dubroff reports that Ramos needed six staples to close a laceration on his head.

Ramos will continue to be evaluated under MLB’s concussion protocol. He may wind up on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Ramos, 29, entered Monday’s action batting .222/.259/.426 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 59 plate appearances. He was 0-for-2 before being replaced by Jesus Sucre.

Video: Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop turn a sweet 5-4-3 double play

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop teamed up to turn an impressive 5-4-3 double play in the bottom of the first inning of Monday night’s game against the Rays.

Steven Souza, Jr. led off the frame with a single. Corey Dickerson struck out, bringing Evan Longoria to the dish. Longoria sharply grounded a 1-2 fastball from Kevin Gausman to Machado, who showcased his strong arm with a perfect feed to Schoop at the second base bag despite his momentum taking him towards into territory. Schoop made an off-balance throw to first to complete the twin-killing.

The Orioles took the lead in the top of the third when Adam Jones hit a solo home run off of Ian Snell.