Ross Detwiler out for another month with pinched nerve

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Ross Detwiler has been on the disabled list since July 4 with a strained back, but after seeing a specialist yesterday the Nationals left-hander has been diagnosed with a pinched nerve caused by a disc problem.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Detwiler is expected to be out for at least another month, which potentially puts his season in jeopardy. Taylor Jordan has done just fine filling in for Detwiler, but the rookie is scheduled to be shut down due to a workload limit in another 20-30 innings.

Trading for another veteran starter might make sense if the Nationals weren’t 48-53, so turning to Ross Ohlendorf once Jordan is out of innings could be their move. Detwiler has a 3.62 ERA in 50 starts since 2011.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.