Stephen Strasburg to throw three innings Friday

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Stephen Strasburg will make his second rehab start Friday and is slated to throw three innings for Single-A Potomac.

It’s actually a bit of a surprise that the Nationals are missing a second opportunity to cash in here.  Potomac’s Pfitzner Stadium already figured to be packed Friday as the result of the highly anticipated Ian Desmond bobblehead giveaway.

Strasburg gave up one run and struck out four in 1 2/3 innings for low Single-A Hagerstown in his first rehab start Sunday.  He threw 31 pitches in that one.  He’ll be on a limit of 50 pitches in Friday’s game.

The plan is for Strasburg to join the Nationals in early September.  He’s expected to take the rotation spot of Jordan Zimmermann, who is being shut down because of innings-limit prescribed by the team.

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.