Game 46 lineups: Nats vs. Padres (Collins joins bullpen)

The Nationals said Juan Soto would play. And play he will. The 19-year-old slugging sensation is making his first MLB start this evening, batting sixth and playing left field even against Padres left-hander Robbie Erlin. Davey Martinez held the kid out of Sunday’s lineup against another lefty, Alex Wood, but the book on Soto is that he can handle left-handed pitching, so he’s about to get his first taste of it tonight.

Soto slots into a Nationals lineup ravaged by injuries, batting behind Pedro Severino (bumped up to the No. 5 spot) and in front of Wilmer Difo (batting seventh). They’ll all get their first look at Erlin, who makes only his second start of the season after posting a 1.96 ERA in 13 relief appearances.

Thumbnail image for Gonzalez-Throw-Blue-Sidebar.jpgGio Gonzalez gets the start for the Nationals, who have a new face in their bullpen. With Ryan Madson officially placed on the 10-day disabled list with a pectoral muscle strain, veteran lefty Tim Collins was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse. Collins, 28, was a key member of the Royals’ bullpen from 2011-14 but hasn’t pitched in the majors since due to two Tommy John surgeries. The mere fact he’s back on a big league roster four years later is quite an accomplishment for him. (To make room for Collins on the 40-man roster, the Nationals transferred Howie Kendrick, who is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, to the 60-day DL.

Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 99.1 FM,
Weather: Partly cloudy, 77 degrees, wind 8 mph right field to left field

SS Trea Turner
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Mark Reynolds
C Pedro Severino
LF Juan Soto
2B Wilmer Difo
CF Michael A. Taylor
LHP Gio Gonzalez


LF Matt Szczur
1B Eric Hosmer
3B Christian Villanueva
2B Jose Pirela
RF Franmil Reyes
SS Freddy Galvis
C A.J. Ellis
CF Manuel Margot
LHP Robbie Erlin

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