Tanner Roark

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg ruled out Friday with upper back issue


Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was pulled after four rough innings Sunday against the Marlins with discomfort in his upper back, and now the issue is going to cost him his next rotation turn.

Tanner Roark will be recalled from High-A Potomac to pitch in place of Strasburg Friday against the Braves, per CSNWashington.com’s Mark Zuckerman. Strasburg has been able to play catch the last two days without issue, but the Nationals want to see him pitch off a mound before they clear him to return and he won’t do that until Thursday.

Strasburg could pitch at some point this weekend versus Atlanta if the mound workout does go well.

Washington entered play Wednesday with a 6 1/2 game deficit in the National League East standings.

A four-game weekend set with the 54-79 Braves should provide an opportunity to gain some ground.

Nationals beat Dodgers after suspended game resumes

Yunel Escobar, Tanner Roark

It was a rather exciting contest for one that took two days to play, but the Nationals held on to beat the Dodgers 5-3 after Friday night’s game resumed Saturday afternoon.

In the top of the ninth, Joc Pederson barely pulled foul his bid for a go-ahead, three-run homer before Drew Storen closed it out.

Pinch-hitter Matt den Dekker hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to give the Nationals back their lead after Adrian Gonzalez hit his second homer of the game and first of the day in the top of the sixth, tying the game at 3-3.

The game last night was halted three times because of issues with a bank of lights down the left-field line, forcing play to be resumed today.

Both pitchers on the mound when play ended Friday continued on today. Tanner Roark gave up Gonzalez’s game-tying homer in the sixth. Chin-Hui Tsao allowed two runs in the fifth last night, but he pitched a scoreless sixth today.

The Dodgers and Nationals will play their regularly scheduled game at 4:05 EDT. They’ll both be able to add a 26th player for that one as a result of the semi-doubleheader today.

Stephen Strasburg exits start with tightness in left side

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Nationals Park on July 4, 2015 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

UPDATE: Nationals manager Matt Williams said after the game that Strasburg left the start with tightness in his left side. He’s scheduled to be re-evaluated on Sunday.

12:39 p.m. ET: According to MASN Sports’ Dan Kolko, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg exited today’s start against the Giants in the top of the fourth inning due to an apparent injury to his left side.

Strasburg was in obvious discomfort on his final three pitches. He tried to make his case to stay in the game, but the Nationals understandably didn’t want to take any chances. Strasburg was pitching well prior to exiting, allowing one hit and two walks over 3 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out three batters. Tanner Roark replaced him to protect an early 3-0 lead.

This was Strasburg’s third start back after missing four weeks with a left trapezius strain. The Nationals will have to hope that he doesn’t require another extended absence. We should have more information on his status after the game.