Game 5 lineups: Nats at Phillies

PHILADELPHIA - If you asked anybody on the first day of spring training to name the Nationals’ No. 5 starter to open the season, I don’t think you would have found many people who would have replied: Jeremy Guthrie. Yet when the Nats take the field this evening at Citizens Bank Park, the man on the mound will be none other than the right-hander celebrating his 38th birthday in most surprising fashion.

The lack of need of a permanent fifth starter until later this month is what prompted this move. The Nationals were able to option Joe Ross to Triple-A Syracuse to begin the season, and the plan is for Ross to make two or three starts for the Chiefs - he debuted today and struggled, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in only 2 2/3 innings - before getting called up to join the Nats rotation.

Guthrie-Throws-Red-Sidebar.jpgIn the interim, it’ll be Guthrie making his first big league start since Sept. 22, 2015 with the Royals. What can the Nationals expect from him tonight? Good question. Ideally, he’d be able to give the bullpen a break, given how much that crew has worked the last two days. But more than five innings might be too much ask for in this situation.

Needing to open up a spot on the 25-man roster for Guthrie, the Nationals optioned outfielder Michael A. Taylor to Syracuse, opting to keep infielder Wilmer Difo.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 187/869, MLB.com
Weather: Mostly clear, 56 degrees, wind 13 mph left field to right field

NATIONALS (3-1)
SS Trea Turner
CF Adam Eaton
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
1B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Jayson Werth
3B Anthony Rendon
C Matt Wieters
RHP Jeremy Guthrie

PHILLIES (1-3)
2B Cesár Hernandez
LF Howie Kendrick
CF Odúbel Herrera
3B Maikel Franco
RF Michael Saunders
1B Tommy Joseph
C Cameron Rupp
SS Freddy Galvis
RHP Aaron Nola

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