The Washington Times - July 24, 2011, 04:01PM

In what projects to be his final rehab start, Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang threw 96 pitches in five innings of work for Triple-A Syracuse Sunday afternoon, allowing five earned runs off eight hits and a walk.

It wasn’t the finest outing for Wang, who took the loss, threw 63 of his pitches for strikes and surrendered a three-run homer to Gustavo Molina in the second inning. The 96 total pitches were the most he’s thrown since beginning his 30-day rehab assignment on June 27.

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The Nationals are going to find a way to clear space for Wang in their rotation, giving him his first opportunity to pitch in the major leagues since 2009, but they have yet to announce how they plan to do so. They have options — shifting Tom Gorzelanny to the bullpen, sending Ross Detwiler back to the minor leagues or even making a trade with one of the current members of their starting rotation — and they don’t have to decide until Wednesday at the earliest.

The Nationals could decide to designate him for assignment but chances of that are extremely slim. All indications are that he will be on the team’s active roster come mid-week.