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MLB notebook: Pennant races aren’t all that’s heating up

Cincinnati’s Joey Votto yells to the Washington Nationals dugout as he walks off the field during the eighth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Washington. Votto was hit by a pitch after Washington’s Bryce Harper and Spencer Kieboom were hit by pitches. The Nationals won 6-2. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
Cincinnati’s Joey Votto yells to the Washington Nationals dugout as he walks off the field during the eighth inning of the second baseball game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in Washington. Votto was hit by a pitch after Washington’s Bryce Harper and Spencer Kieboom were hit by pitches. The Nationals won 6-2. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Nationals star Bryce Harper might be hobbled for a bit after getting hit by a curveball in the right knee Saturday night.

Harper struggled initially to put weight on the leg, but eventually made his way to first base.

A half-inning later, he was replaced in right field by Adam Eaton. Washington reliever Ryan Madson hit Reds star Joey Votto with a pitch later, and an infuriated Votto yelled at Madson throughout the rest of the inning. That tension might spill over when the teams conclude their four-game series.

Osuna returns

Reliever Robert Osuna joins the Astros on Sunday, ending his 75-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.

The World Series champs acquired the 2017 All-Star from Toronto on July 31 for Ken Giles in a swap of closers. The 23-year-old Osuna had a 2.93 ERA in 15 games for the Blue Jays this season when he was penalized.

Osuna is expected to talk to the team before the game at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander has been working out with Double-A Corpus Christi.

Runaway Red Sox

David Price and the Red Sox try for a surprising sweep of the Yankees when they wrap a four-game series at Fenway Park on Sunday.

With Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez on the disabled list, New York’s bats have been bottled up by Boston’s pitchers, with Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi throwing gems the past two games.

Price (11-6, 3.97) hopes to follow suit and make up for a miserable outing the last time he faced the Yankees, when he allowed a career-worst five homers in an 11-1 loss July 1. Masahiro Tanaka (9-2, 3.84) starts for the Yankees, who have lost a season-high four in a row.

Boston is 8 1/2 games ahead of New York for the A.L. East lead. The teams play six more times in September.

A history of success

With the Braves in a tight race atop the N.L. East, right-hander Julio Teheran (8-7) tries to stifle the Mets again when he starts the finale of a four-game series at Citi Field.

Teheran is 9-6 with a 2.33 ERA in his career against New York and has permitted just two runs on 11 hits in 21 innings (0.86 ERA) vs. the Mets this season.

Rookie righty Corey Oswalt (1-2) pitches for New York in place of injured Steven Matz. Oswalt beat San Diego in his last major league start July 25 for his first career win.

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