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Strasburg strong in return from injury

Making his first Arizona Fall League start in 12 days, Nationals prospect Stephen Strasburgblanked the Peoria Saguaros over 3 1/3 innings on Saturday, allowing just one hit while striking out six and walking two.

Strasburg tossed 36 of 64 pitches for strikes while his fastball was clocked as high as 99 mph. The 20-year-old was scheduled to pitch last Saturday’s “Rising Stars Game,” but was scratched after suffering a stiff neck.

“It was a good day. My goal was just to go out there and pound it in the strike zone,” Strasburg said.

Strasburg’s 4.26 ERA over 19 innings might not jump out at you, but take out one hiccup against Peoria on October 22 (seven runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings) and he is a much more impressive 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA. Strasburg’s four wins lead the AFL, while his 23 strikeouts in 19 innings ranks third.

While Strasburg was denied the stage of the “Rising Stars Game,” his next start will most likely come in next Saturday’s AFL championship game. Strasburg’s team, the Phoenix Desert Dogs, have a four-game lead on the Eastern division title with five games left on the docket.