Desmond Jennings expects to return Monday

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Great news here for the second-place Rays.

According to beat reporter Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, outfielder Desmond Jennings had no issues with his once-fractured left middle finger Wednesday while taking swings off a batting tee and is aiming to return to the Rays’ active 25-man roster on Monday evening for the opening of a big three-game series against the third-place Orioles.

Jennings was placed on the 15-day disabled list August 5 after suffering the minor middle finger fracture on a hard slide into the second base bag.

The dynamic 26-year-old was batting .258/.326/.419 with 11 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 104 games before the injury. Tampa Bay is currently four games back of Boston in the American League East.

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.