Stephen Strasburg beats Rays, wins sixth straight start

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No one told Stephen Strasburg that NL teams were supposed to struggle in interleague games.

Strasburg won his sixth straight start Wednesday by allowing two runs in seven innings and striking out 10 in the Nationals’ 3-2 defeat of the Rays. He improved to 4-0 against American League East teams this season.

The 23-year-old Strasburg moved to 9-1 with a 2.46 ERA overall and reclaimed the major league lead in strikeouts with 110. He’s 4-0 with a 40/5 K/BB ratio in 26 innings this month.

Strasburg overshadowed Chris Archer tonight in his major league debut. The promising Archer, whom the Rays acquired from the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal prior to 2011, allowed three runs — one earned — and three hits in taking a tough loss. He struck out seven and walked just one before being removed after six innings.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.