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Stephen Strasburg homers, shuts out Marlins

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg had a productive afternoon on Wednesday at home against the Marlins. The right-hander blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie, then went on to polish off a shutout.

The home run is the second of the season for Strasburg and the third of his career. Strasburg also singled in the seventh inning, going 2-for-4 overall. On the mound, he threw 110 pitches, holding the Marlins to six hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. Wednesday’s effort marked the second complete game of his career, both shutouts.

The Nationals, now 81-51, polished off a series sweep of the Marlins, extending their NL East lead to 15 games.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.