Strasburg fans nine batters in fourth MLB start

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Stephen Strasburg made his fourth start for the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon against the Royals, and it went about as well as you might expect.

The rookie phenom struck out nine batters, issued no walks and allowed only one run over six strong innings.  He didn’t get to ball four on a single batter and 75 of his 95 pitches went for strikes.  Of course, the Nats’ offense gave him exactly zero run support and he wound up with his first loss of the season.

Strasburg, 21, is now 2-1 with a 1.78 earned-run average, a 0.95 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 25.1 major league innings. 

He earned strikeout No. 41 with a knee-buckling 83 MPH curveball to Royals outfielder Scott Podsednik, snapping a record held by Herb Score, who struck out 40 batters in his first four major league starts back in 1955.  It’s no secret by now, but Strasburg has been historically good. 

Mark Lowe wants to attempt a comeback

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Reliever Mark Lowe wants to make a comeback, Jerry Crasnick reports. The 35-year-old veteran is working out in Portland, Oregon and would take an opportunity to pitch overseas as well as a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Lowe signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers back in January, but was cut in the middle of March and didn’t end up signing with another team. He last pitched in the majors in 2016 with the Tigers. Across parts of 11 seasons, Lowe has a career 4.22 ERA with 352 strikeouts and 163 walks in 385 2/3 innings. Lowe spent 2017 at Triple-A for the Mariners and White Sox, compiling a devilish 6.66 ERA in aggregate across 48 2/3 innings.