Nationals' Strasburg exits with upper back tightness

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg left Sunday's game against the Miami Marlins after four innings with upper back tightness, but hopes to be ready for his next start.

"He had some discomfort in his upper back, so, little bit of a recurrence of earlier in the year," manager Matt Williams said. "The velocity came down a little bit today so we got him out of there.

"Certainly had more pitching to do, but the last thing we wanted was to change mechanics. Can't go there."

Strasburg left after 60 pitches with the Nationals trailing 4-2, but they rallied for a 7-4 win.

"Just a little bit of back tightness," Strasburg said. "This is something that I kind of dealt with in the middle of the year."

Strasburg (8-6, 3.45 ERA) said he felt tightness after his last start, but with normal treatment it went away.

"It's something that's really hard to explain," he said. "It's not really a muscular thing, it's just like this little ball that's there and kind of just affects everything around it.

"So the biggest thing right now is just to get it calmed down the next couple of days and hopefully make my next start."

Strasburg said he thinks "it's just something that I'm going to have to grind through and get through the year, and then figure out exactly what it is in the offseason."

He entered with a 3-1 record and a 1.73 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list after missing more than a month with an oblique strain.

He allowed a three-run homer to Justin Bour in the first and a solo shot to Derek Dietrich to open the fourth. Strasburg gave up seven hits and struck out three without a walk.

Doug Fister came on to start the fifth and picked up the win with two shutout innings.

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