Jarrod Parker taken out due to hamstring injury

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Athletics starter Jarrod Parker had to leave this afternoon’s game against the Cardinals in the fourth inning after surrendering a two-out double to Allen Craig. As Parker followed through on the pitch, he crumpled to the ground, clutching at his right leg. CSN Bay Area’s Nate Stuhlbarg is reporting that the right-hander suffered a hamstring injury.

Parker, entering today’s game with a 4.27 ERA over 16 starts, had held the Cardinals scoreless, but reliever Jesse Chavez allowed two runs in the fifth and put runners on first and third with no outs before being replaced by Jerry Blevins in the sixth. Both runners would come around to score as Blevins opened the floodgates for the Cardinals as they hung up a four-spot.

Report: Nationals sign Joaquin Benoit to a one-year deal

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Joaquin Benoit to a contract. Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post adds that it’s a one-year major league deal worth $1 million.

Benoit, 40, spent last season with the Phillies and Pirates. He put up a mediocre 4.65 ERA with a 46/22 K/BB ratio across 50 1/3 innings. Only 8/13 innings came with the Pirates as he dealt with a left knee injury that kept him out of action for much of the final month and a half. He also left the team in mid-September to attend to a family matter in the Dominican Republic.

Given his age and declining performance, as well as the Nationals’ bullpen depth, Benoit doesn’t figure to pitch in many high-leverage spots, but that could change with injuries.