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Strasburg to make rehab start Wednesday

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Strasburg to make rehab start Wednesday

Stephen Strasburg will make a rehab start Wednesday afternoon for Class AA Harrisburg, his first game appearance since going on the disabled list two weeks ago with a strained left trapezius muscle.

Strasburg is slated to pitch in Harrisburg against Richmond at noon Wednesday, the Senators announced.

This rehab assignment comes after Strasburg threw 60 pitches to live hitters in a simulated game in Milwaukee on Friday, reporting no problems with his neck or upper back, which had been given him problems over the last month.

If Strasburg is able to build up to roughly 75 pitches in Harrisburg with no discomfort, the Nationals could deem him ready to return to their rotation after only one rehab start. The club won’t make that decision, though, until seeing how he responds to pitching at full velocity in a game situation, the only situations to date that have caused him discomfort.

[MORE NATIONALS Notes on Scherzer's career day, one of the best in Nats history

After suffering an ankle sprain in spring training that forced him to alter his mechanics, Strasburg endured through an erratic April to begin his season. He then battled through the first prolonged struggle of his career in May, going 1-3 with a 10.13 ERA in five starts. In four of those outings, he failed to complete four innings, in part due to the neck/back discomfort.

Strasburg’s final start, May 29 in Cincinnati, lasted only one inning and 16 pitches, finally prompting the Nationals to place him on the disabled list with what was diagnosed as a strained left trapezius muscle. He has worked with pitching coach Steve McCatty since on improving his mechanics, most notably adjusting his landing spot as he throws pitches off the mound.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.