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BeitragVerfasst: 16 Aug 2018, 03:56 
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A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

NATIONAL DECLINE

The Nationals could use a spark before the July 4 fireworks go off in D.C. Washington is at risk of falling below .500 for the first time since May 2 as it continues a series against Boston at 11 a.m. EDT. The Red Sox thumped the Nationals 11-4 on Tuesday Javier Baez Jersey , giving Washington its fourth straight loss and 16th in 21 games to fall to 42-42. That slide has the preseason NL East favorites chasing the Braves and Phillies in the division. Erick Fedde (1-3, 6.00) tries to stop Washington’s skid against Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3, 4.11).

THE SHO GOES ON

Shohei Ohtani is back from the disabled list, albeit without full use of his electric right arm. The Japanese two-way sensation has been cleared to hit and was in the Angels’ lineup as a designated hitter Tuesday night, but he won’t be pitching anytime soon due to a Grade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament suffered more than three weeks ago. Ohtani has received stem cell therapy and a platelet-rich plasma injection on his right elbow. The Angels say they’ll re-evaluate Ohtani for pitching in three weeks.

ROTATION RESET

Gerrit Cole (9-2) will pitch on regular rest for the Astros after a slight tweak to their rotation. Lance McCullers Jr. was initially scheduled to start at Texas, but Cole will pitch instead. Justin Verlander (9-4) will follow Thursday at home against the White Sox and McCullers goes Friday. Manager A.J. Hinch said the switch keeps Cole and Verlander pitching every fifth day, and provides extra rest for McCullers (9-3) and Charlie Morton (10-2). The reset rotation means likely All-Star selection Verlander is scheduled for the final game before the break. ”This is always going to be the priority,” said Hinch, the All-Star manager who then won’t have Verlander available to pitch for the AL team on July 17 in Washington D.C.

BAUER POWER

Trevor Bauer tries to carry over an outstanding June when the Indians play at Kansas City. Bauer (7-6, 2.45) was 3-3 with a 2.18 ERA last month, striking out 62 batters in 41 1/3 innings. He gets probably his easiest test of the year against the Royals Youth Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey , who scored a major league-low 58 runs in June – the second-lowest output was Tampa Bay at 87.



Tyler Matakevich wants to prove he can handle the job. Jon Bostic just wants to be on the field.

Matakevich and Bostic are competing for Pittsburgh's opening at inside linebacker after the Steelers did not use a draft pick on the position. The winner gets to start alongside veteran Vince Williams and an opportunity to help fill the massive void left by Ryan Shazier, who is out for the season while recovering from spinal stabilization surgery.

"What happened to Ryan was terrible," Matakevich said. "But that was an opportunity that not too many guys get, to step in and really step up."

The Steelers signed Bostic to a two-year contract in March to provide veteran depth at inside linebacker after Shazier got hurt last December at Cincinnati.

"I told (coach Mike Tomlin) that when I came in, I'm coming in to compete," Bostic said. "I would like to not come off the field and going forward, I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that happens."

The Steelers gave Matakevich and Bostic a vote of confidence when they opted not to select an inside linebacker in April's draft.

"Whether they (selected a linebacker or not), I would have the same mentality," Matakevich said. "Seeing how everything unfolded, it definitely gives you a little boost knowing that they believe in you, too."

Matakevich Robbie Ray Jersey , a 2016 seventh-round pick, has played in 31 games with the Steelers. While he hasn't made any starts on defense, his impact has been felt on special teams, particularly last season.

Matakevich blocked two punts, including one that was recovered for a touchdown. He also broke up a pass on a fake punt by Minnesota.

Matakevich took the majority of the first-team snaps during spring workouts, but he and Bostic have shared the starting role during training camp practices.

The well-traveled Bostic is currently on his fifth team, having also played with Chicago, New England, Detroit and Indianapolis. He said it doesn't matter where he practices, as long as he's on the field.

"To be honest, it's important to get the reps Mike Remmers Jersey Vikings ," said Bostic, who was Chicago's second-round pick in 2013. "Regardless of whatever (group) you're running on the field, I still have to earn my job."

Bostic spent 2017 in Indianapolis, finishing with 97 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in 14 games before a knee injury ended his season.

Matakevich battled a shoulder injury last season, initially getting hurt against Kansas City in October. He left a December game against Cincinnati and was inactive the next week against Baltimore before finishing out the season and undergoing shoulder surgery following the Steelers' playoff loss to Jacksonville.

"It definitely held me back, playing pretty much the whole year with one arm," Matakevich said. "It's hard enough with two, but it's definitely a little harder with one."

Now, there isn't anything holding Matakevich back. The same goes for Bostic.

"When we're out there, we're competing against each other Giants Cheap Jerseys , but we're making the defense better," Bostic said. "When the defense is better, the team is better, and at the end of the day, we just have to make sure we get better on our side of the ball."

NOTES: Tomlin said OLB Bud Dupree has a concussion. ... WR Antonio Brown missed his fourth practice and is considered day to day. ... CB Joe Haden, CB Brian Allen, OL Chukwuma Okorafor, OLB T.J. Watt, TE Vance McDonald and CB Coty Sensabaugh all missed Saturday's practice. ... WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster couldn't finish the workout.

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