Kyle Drabek left in the fifth inning after he felt something pop in the back his right elbow in Toronto's 6-2 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday, leaving the Blue Jays with uncertainty about the state of their starting rotation.
On Monday, right-hander Brandon Morrow left the game in the first inning with a strained left oblique muscle and he has been put on the 15-day disabled list.
"(Drabek) felt it on the one pitch," Jays manager John Farrell said. "He threw a fastball and when the velocity was in the 87 mile-an-hour range and the way he finished off the mound you could tell something wasn't quite right, and then on the visit at the mound he said he felt a sensation at the back of the elbow."
Initial tests on Drabek were encouraging.
"He's got full strength, he's got full stability just on the training room tests," Farrell said, but added that there will be more tests.
Drabek had Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery in 2007 and said the soreness was nothing like that.
"It's on the back of the elbow, it's not the ligament," Drabek said. "We did all the tests for it and I was strong so that was some good news. It's just a little sore right now. Obviously I want to go back out and pitch but it’s up to the trainers and coaches."
Tyler Moore did most of the damage offensively for Washington, hitting his first two career major-league homers and driving in five runs. Ian Desmond also went deep for the Nationals.
Jose Bautista hit his 19th home run of the season for Toronto off Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.
Drabek (4-7) allowed seven hits, two walks and four runs in 4 1/3 innings including a two-run double and a two-run homer by Moore.
The Blue Jays (31-32) have lost six of their past seven games to dip below .500 for the first time this season.
Strasburg (8-1) struck out eight in six innings to win his fifth consecutive decision, holding the Blue Jays to two runs and five hits.
Strasburg came out because of a small cut on the middle finger of his right hand. He had been cutting his nails before the sixth and pitched one inning with the cut.
"When he came back in I saw there was a little cut there," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He wanted go out. Shoot, all of us wanted him to go out."
Johnson decided to take him out.
"It was nothing major," Strasburg said. "I definitely don't think it affected the way the ball was coming out or anything. I wanted to go out there again."
Left-hander Aaron Laffey took over from Drabek and gave up Moore's second home run and another to Desmond, his ninth of the season.
The Nationals (38-23), who have won six in a row, broke on top with a pair in the second after a single by Michael Morse, a walk to Desmond and a one-out double by Moore.
The Blue Jays tied the score in the third in front of 41,667 fans at Rogers Centre. Rajai Davis led off with a triple and scored on a groundout by Brett Lawrie. Bautista homered with two out.
Bautista's 132nd home run as a Jay vaulted him to seventh on the club's all-time list.
Drabek gave up a one-out single to Danny Espinosa and a home run to Moore in the fourth as the Nationals regained their two-run lead. It was the first career home run for the 25-year-old first baseman, who was playing his 16th game in two stints with Washington this season.
"I tried to throw an inside cutter to Moore and it didn't cut and it kind of just sat there for him to hit and he put a good swing on it," Drabek said.
Moore hit a 3-2 pitch to straightaway centre with one out in the sixth inning to put the Nationals into a 5-2 lead. Moore is the first Nationals player to hit two homers in a game this season.
"I feel like we're building and it just keeps getting better," Moore said. "It's a fun place to be."
Notes: Infielder Yan Gomes was recalled from triple-A Las Vegas before Wednesday's game to fill the roster spot left when Morrow (strained left oblique) was put on the 15-day disabled list. . . The Blue Jays have Thursday off before playing a three-game series against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies who will start Vance Worley (3-2, 3.17 earned-run average) against Drew Hutchison (5-3, 4.66 ERA).