Drew Silva

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg pulled after four rough innings on Sunday with discomfort in upper back

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Stephen Strasburg had his worst start since May on Saturday against the lowly Marlins, yielding four earned runs on seven hits. Washington did win the game 7-4 to maintain its 5 1/2 game deficit in the National League East standings, but more bad news about Strasburg came forward Sunday evening …

His status for next weekend’s series against the Braves is unclear at this time. Strasburg entered Sunday’s outing versus Miami with a shiny 1.73 ERA and 32/3 K/BB ratio over his last four starts (26 innings).

The 27-year-old missed most of July with an oblique strain and most of June with a trapezius strain.

Video: Jeremy Guthrie robs Rays ballboy at The Trop

guthrie mlb.tv
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Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie is doing some fine side work in his new long relief role …

That taunting nod at the end was spectacular. “Play the ball, son. Don’t let the ball play you.”

Josh Hamilton still unable to run due to sore left knee

Josh Hamilton
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Josh Hamilton is likely to be activated off the disabled list Tuesday, September 1 when major league rosters expand, but it sounds like he’s going to be limited to pinch-hitting duties for a while.

According to Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the veteran outfielder has been taking batting practice and playing catch without issue but has not been cleared yet for running. “It feels OK to throw and hit on the knee,” Hamilton told the Star-Telegram. “I just haven’t gotten to the important part where I can run or jog. That’s the next step.”

Texas has won 12 of its last 16 games and opened play Sunday with a 1 1/2 game lead on the second American League Wild Card spot.

Hamilton, 34, has hit .254/.296/.430 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 38 games this season.