Stephen Strasburg will avoid DL stint, at least for now

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Stephen Strasburg left last night’s start after only two innings with a strained lower back, but the Nationals are going to play the waiting game before putting him on the 15-day disabled list, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nats could skip and further delay his next scheduled start, using Craig Stammen — who tossed four shut-out innings in relief of Strasburg last night — in the interim.

Strasburg joins a lengthy list of injured Nationals, including star outfielder Bryce Harper who was put on the DL today, retroactive to May 27. The Nationals have been hovering around .500 for the better part of the last two weeks, tenuously holding onto a spot in second place in the NL East, currently 4.5 games behind the first place Braves and two games ahead of the third-place Phillies.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run

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Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.

Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.

Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.

Chris Sale’s streak of starts with at least 10 strikeouts ends

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.

Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.