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Sunday September 25th, 2022 12:01AM

LEADING OFF: Strasburg returns to majors; Trout, Alonso sit

By The Associated Press
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A look at what's happening around the majors today:

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WELCOME BACK

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg is set to pitch in the majors for the first time since June 1, 2021, when he starts against the Marlins in Miami.

Strasburg, who turns 34 next month, has been sidelined for most of the past two seasons. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last summer.

The 2019 World Series MVP made three minor league rehab starts in the lead-up to his debut. Washington manager Dave Martinez says he won't put any limitations on the right-hander.

“We’ll see how far we can take him. We’ll keep a close eye on him,” Martinez said this week.

Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to remain with the Nationals after their championship season. He has made seven starts since, going 1-3 with a 5.74 ERA in those games. The three-time All-Star is 113-61 with a 3.21 ERA in his career.

TROUT SITS

Mike Trout is listed as day to day after the Angels star exited a game because of tightness in his left groin.

The three-time AL MVP was out of the lineup Wednesday night as the Angels lost 1-0 to Boston, extending their losing streak to a franchise-record 14 games.

"Definitely better than it was last night. He’s going to stay inside today, do a lot of treatments on it, and we’re just going to kind of see where that takes us by game time," Angels athletic trainer Mike Frostad said before the game. “He’s not concerned about it. He’s very upbeat, moving around pretty good, and he’s really been in a good frame of mind.”

No MRI was scheduled, Frostad said.

Trout ended a career-worst 0-for-26 slump Monday. He homered early in the game Tuesday, then grimaced while running out a double.

The outfielder is batting .284 with 14 home runs and a .989 OPS. He missed the final 119 games of last season with a left calf strain.

GOOD NEWS, NEW YORK

Mets stars Pete Alonso and Starling Marte got promising diagnoses from injuries suffered in San Diego, and both players think they could be back in a matter of days.

Alonso was hit in his right hand by a pitch Tuesday, but X-rays and a CT scan showed no breaks or fractures. The hulking right-handed hitter, tied for the NL lead with 16 homers, is optimistic he won’t have to go on the injured list. He’s waiting for swelling to subside before planning his return, but still he called it “probably the best-case scenario.”

Marte left Tuesday's game with left quad tightness but said Wednesday he was feeling better and also hoping to avoid the IL.

Neither player was in the lineup Wednesday for the series finale against the Padres. New York is off Thursday before opening a set at the Angels on Friday night.

SHUTOUT STRING

Dodgers left-hander Tyler Anderson (7-0, 2.59 ERA) has thrown 26 consecutive scoreless innings heading into his matchup with Dylan Cease (4-2, 3.69) and the Chicago White Sox in the finale of an interleague series between teams with October expectations.

The 32-year-old Anderson can become the first eight-game winner in the majors. A first-round draft pick by Colorado in 2011, he hasn’t finished with an ERA under 4.35 since his 2016 rookie season with the Rockies.

HEATING UP

Braves lefty Max Fried tries to win his fourth straight start when he pitches at home against Pittsburgh.

Fried (5-2, 2.74 ERA) has allowed just three runs in 20 innings during his winning string. He'll face J.T. Brubaker (0-5, 4.70).

Off the field, the 28-year-old Fried still has a salary arbitration hearing in the near future. The cases are usually decided by now, but the timetable was pushed back by the Major League Baseball lockout.

Fried has asked for a salary of $6.85 million and the Braves offered $6.6 million. He pitched six shutout innings in the World Series clincher last year and is off to a good start this season — by agreement between MLB and the players' union, no statistics or evidence from after March 1 are admissible in the arbitration hearing other than contract and salary comparisons.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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