Ohtani is back, but not pitching

SEATTLE (AP) — Shohei Ohtani is back from the disabled list, but 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.

— 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 with a Fourth of July game beginning before noon. The Red Sox thumped the Nationals 11-4 on Tuesday, 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.

— Gerrit Cole 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 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 and Charlie Morton. 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.

— Trevor Bauer tries to carry over an outstanding June when the Indians play at Kansas City. Bauer 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, who scored a major league-low 58 runs in June — the second-lowest output was Tampa Bay at 87.


Williams advances after losing opening set

LONDON (AP) — Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams once again dropped the opening set, and once again dominated the rest of the way to win.

The No. 9 seed, at 38 the oldest woman in the draw, came back to beat 141st-ranked qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 to reach the third round at the All England Club.

Williams got broken in the first game and did not recover in the opening set, in which she made 12 unforced errors, twice as many as Dulgheru. Nine of those were errant forehands.

But the American, the runner-up at Wimbledon a year ago, then won seven games in a row.

In other early action today:

— Karolina Pliskova advanced to the third round for the first time with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Victoria Azarenka. Seventh-seeded Pliskova didn't face a break point as she cruised through a meeting of the two former No.1-ranked players on Centre Court. It was the sixth time in seven main draw appearances at Wimbledon that 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Pliskova had advanced to the second round, but she had previously failed to go any further.

— Milos Raonic hit 34 aces to beat John Millman of Australia in straight sets and reach the third round at Wimbledon. The 2016 runner-up reached the third round for a sixth straight year, having lost to eventual champion Roger Federer in last year's quarterfinals.

— Tenth-seed Madison Keys of the United States is in the third round, after beating Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand.

— Lucas Pouille became the latest seeded player to exit the men's draw at Wimbledon after a defeat by Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak. The 17th-seeded Pouille saved two match points in the third-set tiebreaker before eventually forcing a fifth set.