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Obama catches new mania

President Obama watches Stephen Strasburg strike out 10 of his beloved White Sox.

Associated Press

President Obama watches Stephen Strasburg strike out 10 of his beloved White Sox.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama ventured from the White House on Friday to watch his hometown White Sox take on the Nationals and their new star pitcher, Stephen Strasburg — then he saw some baseball history.

Strasburg, 21, struck out 10 over his seven innings to set a record for most strikeouts by a pitcher in his first three major-league starts. That gave the right-hander 32 strikeouts, topping the 29 by the Astros' J.R. Richard in his first three starts in 1971. Strasburg went 2-0 with 22 strikeouts in his first two starts.

"That's never going to be a goal of mine," Strasburg said of the record.

Obama, wearing a white short-sleeved shirt and a White Sox cap, sat in a private box a few levels up behind home plate and watched his Sox score a run off Strasburg in the first. But the pitcher then retired 15 in a row and was removed later with the score tied at 1. He only allowed four hits, did not walk a batter and lowered his ERA to 1.86. The Nats lost in 11 innings 2-1.

The president was seen sipping a beer and pointing out to his daughters, Sasha and Malia, things happening on the field.

Mariners: Pitcher Jose Mendoza of the team's Venezuelan summer league squad was suspended 50 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs (nandrolone) in violation of the minor-league drug program. … DH Mike Sweeney, 36, was activated from the DL and tested his sore lower back.

Phillies: 2B Chase Utley denied a comment by first-base coach Davey Lopes that he has a knee injury. Lopes told Baseball Prospectus that Utley "has been hampered by a little bit of a knee injury." Utley says he feels normal "aches and pains" in various body parts but emphasized he has no injuries.

Red Sox: RF J.D. Drew strained his right hamstring running down and catching a Manny Ramirez line drive and left the game in the third inning. Drew will have an MRI exam today and could miss a few games.

Rockies: SS Troy Tulowitzki, hit by a pitch in the hand Thursday, was placed on the 15-day DL with a broken left wrist and will miss at least six weeks. "I'm not going to shy away from the fact that this is quite a punch in the gut," manager Jim Tracy said of losing his offensive catalyst.

Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera left the game against Arizona in the fifth inning because of dizziness. The team said he was day to day.

Bonds' son Pleas out: Nikolai Bonds, the 20-year-old son of former slugger Barry Bonds, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vandalism and assault charges stemming from a fight with his mother in Menlo Park, Calif. Nikolai Bonds was sentenced to four days in jail but given credit for time served after his plea deal. Authorities say Bonds threw a doorknob at Sun Bonds, spit in her face and stopped her from leaving the house after she suggested his friends may have taken jewelry.

Obama catches new mania 06/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 19, 2010 1:10am]

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