Nelson Cruz aiming to return from disabled list Tuesday

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Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was placed on the disabled list near the end of August with a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring. Team doctors estimated that he would miss at least three weeks, but the 31-year-old slugger is already chomping at the bit.

According to Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Cruz ran sprints on the outfield grass Saturday and will do so again on Sunday.

If he continues making progress and is able to avoid setbacks, he could be activated from the disabled list Tuesday — the first day he’s eligible to return.

Cruz is batting .270/.322/.531 with 28 home runs and 84 RBI through 113 games this season.

Max Scherzer reaches 300 strikeouts on the season

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Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out his 300th batter of the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins. Austin Dean was the victim, swinging and missing at a 3-2 curve for the second out in the seventh inning.

Scherzer’s 2018 is the seventh 300-strikeout season since 2000. The others: Chris Sale (308; 2017 Red Sox), Clayton Kershaw (301; 2015 Dodgers), Randy Johnson (334; 2002 Diamondbacks), Curt Schilling (316; 2002 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (372; 2001 Diamondbacks), Randy Johnson (347; 2000 Diamondbacks). It’s the 67th 300-strikeout season dating back to 1883.

At the conclusion of the seventh, Scherzer had held the Marlins to a run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. He entered the start 17-7 with a 2.57 ERA across 213 2/3 innings. Jacob deGrom will almost certainly win the NL Cy Young Award, but Scherzer’s 2018 has been outstanding.