Josh Hamilton is hitting seventh tonight for the Angels

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Josh Hamilton struck out twice and grounded into three double plays in the Angels’ 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday and is now sporting a putrid .213/.269/.388 batting line through 69 games this season. So some changes are being made.

Hamilton will bat seventh Wednesday as the Halos take on the M’s for the third game of a four-game set. It’s the first time he has hit there with Anaheim and just the 20th time he has hit seventh in his career. Mark Trumbo is at cleanup, Howie Kendrick is batting fifth and Alberto Callaspo will hit sixth.

Hamilton has 10 home runs in 294 plate appearances this season but he also has 73 strikeouts.

The 32-year-old outfielder signed a five-year, $125 million free agent contract with Anaheim this winter.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.