UPDATE: It's Strasburg Day… for a second time

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strasburg lineup card.JPGUPDATE: Strasburg allowed zero runs and only two hits Sunday over three innings of work against the Cards.  He also fanned two batters and tallied six groundouts.

12:23pm: It is Stephen Strasburg Day again in south Florida, as the young right-handed starter is scheduled to make his second appearance of the spring this afternoon against the Cardinals. 

Strasburg turned in two scoreless frames in his Grapefruit League debut last week versus the Tigers, hitting 98 MPH with his fastball and displaying a gorgeously sharp slider.  According to CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler, tickets for Sunday’s spring game are fairly tough to come by, and the Nationals are certainly hoping that excitement will carry over to the nation’s capital once the regular season begins.

Washington manager Jim Riggleman has yet to make a decision on where Strasburg will open the 2010 season and continues to tell reporters that the club is employing a “wait and see” approach.  In other words, the 2009 No. 1 overall pick is in control of his own destiny.  If he continues to rattle off scoreless innings we’ll see him in a big league uniform in early April.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.