A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday: NATIONAL DECLINE 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 at 11 a.m. EDT. The Red Sox thumped the Nationals 11-4 on Tuesday Cheap Jessie Bates III Jersey , 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. Erick Fedde (1-3, 6.00) tries to stop Washington’s skid against Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3, 4.11). THE SHO GOES ON Shohei Ohtani is back from the disabled list, albeit 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 Andy Dalton Jersey , and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to return to the mound this year. For now, Los Angeles welcomes him as a hitter. He entered Tuesday batting .289 with a .907 OPS and six homers in 114 at-bats. ROTATION RESET Gerrit Cole (9-2) 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 (9-4) 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 (9-3) and Charlie Morton (10-2). 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 M.J. Stewart Buccaneers Jersey , the All-Star manager who then won’t have Verlander available to pitch for the AL team on July 17 in Washington D.C. BAUER POWER Trevor Bauer tries to carry over an outstanding June when the Indians play at Kansas City. Bauer (7-6, 2.45) 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. — Rapper Meek Mill said Wednesday that now that he’s out of prison, a lot of people facing similar battles with the criminal justice system are depending on him. ”I got a lot of responsibility P.J. Hall Jersey ,” he said in an interview with Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News. He said the men counting on him are ”going through the same thing I’m going through.” The Philadelphia-born rapper rang a replica Liberty Bell at center court of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ first-round clinching playoff game Tuesday less than two hours after being freed on bail while he appeals decade-old gun and drug convictions. He was released after the state Supreme Court directed a Philadelphia judge who had jailed him to immediately issue an order letting him out. Asked if he felt free, Mill told Holt: ”I ain’t feel free since I caught this case at age of 19 – I’m 30 now.” Mill had been sentenced in November to two to four years behind bars for probation violations, setting off an all-out battle by a team of lawyers and public relations consultants to get him released on bail. They fiercely criticized the judge as a stream of high-powered figures and celebrities visited Mill in jail in the weeks and days before the Supreme Court ruling. ”Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues,” Mill said in a statement shortly before his release. He said he planned to focus on getting his convictions overturned Vontaze Burfict Bengals Jersey , and that he looks forward to resuming his music career. The ruling came after prosecutors said they agreed with his lawyers that he should get a new trial because of questions raised about the arresting officer. The now-retired officer was among a list of police officers the prosecutor’s office has sought to keep off the witness stand in cases across the city because of credibility questions. The district attorney’s office has not said whether they would seek to retry him if the old convictions are thrown out. But it noted that just last week, prosecutors agreed not to further prosecute three defendants whose cases were tossed because of doubts about the credibility of the arresting narcotics agent, the same officer who had arrested Mill. Judge Genece Brinkley, who sent Mill to prison and had refused to release him on bail until the Supreme Court ruling, was accused by the defense of waging a vendetta against the rapper. She defended herself Derwin James Jersey , saying she had acted ”impartially and without prejudice” in all proceedings since 2008. .