Athletics activate A.J. Griffin from the disabled list, option him to Triple-A

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The Athletics activated pitcher A.J. Griffin from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, closer Sean Doolittle was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Per Slusser, manager Bob Melvin says Griffin isn’t quite ready to return to the majors yet, as he’s only up to about 80 pitches. The 27-year-old right-hander, on the road back from Tommy John surgery, has made three rehab starts. He pitched well in his first two at Single-A, but struggled in his most recent, allowing six runs (five earned) in 4 1/3 innings at Triple-A.

Griffin will make a few more starts at Triple-A. If he can prove himself useful, the A’s might bring him up to the major leagues by the All-Star break. Griffin hasn’t pitched in the majors since the end of the 2013 season.

As for Doolittle, his move to the 60-day disabled list means the A’s won’t be seeing him back for a while, if at all this season. He’s battling a left shoulder injury.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.