Johan Santana will make his next start on a pitch count

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Johan Santana is staying in the Mets’ rotation despite getting knocked around for six or more runs in each of his last five starts, but manager Terry Collins will have him on a strict pitch count.

Collins declined to reveal the exact number, but told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that Santana will be allowed to throw fewer than 100 pitches when he takes his normal turn in the rotation Thursday versus the Rockies, in New York.

Santana hasn’t topped 95 pitches in a start since June anyway, so obviously that’s not the issue in terms of his performance, but the Mets are also focused on keeping his workload in check. Collins indicated that shutting Santana down in September remains an option.

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.