Game 50 lineups: Nats at Braves (Robles activated)

The Nationals need something to inject some life in their moribund offense. For now, that something will have to be Victor Robles, who has rejoined the active roster 12 days after spraining his right ankle.

Robles was officially activated off the 10-day injured list today, in time for the nine-game road trip that begins late this afternoon in unincorporated Atlanta. The 24-year-old center fielder appeared in one rehab game for Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, going 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and a stolen base while serving as the Senators' DH. The Nats ideally would've liked Robles to see some time in center field before activating him, but at this point they can't afford to wait any longer.

Thumbnail image for Robles-Bunts-Red-sidebar.jpgRobles, however, is not in center field tonight against the Braves, nor is he in the lineup. Andrew Stevenson will bat eighth and play center field. So a Nationals lineup that scored a grand total of three runs during a weekend sweep at the hands of the Brewers needs to show more tonight against veteran Charlie Morton, who has been good of late (one earned run, five hits allowed in his last 13 innings). Morton has always been considered a groundball pitcher, but that has changed a bit in recent seasons, and his groundball-to-flyball ratio is now nearly 1-to-1. The Nats must find a way to elevate the ball against him.

Joe Ross, likewise, has always been a groundball pitcher. And the Nationals righty needs to stay down in the zone today against a Braves lineup that leads the National League in homers, slugging percentage and OPS. It's perhaps not as potent as it was last year, with both Marcell Ozuna and Travis d'Arnaud on the IL and Adam Duvall no longer with the organization. But in this depressed season for offense around baseball, they still hit for power as well as anyone.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Truist Park
Gametime: 5:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees, wind 6 mph in from center field

NATIONALS
SS Trea Turner
2B Josh Harrison
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
LF Kyle Schwarber
3B Starlin Castro
C Yan Gomes
CF Andrew Stevenson
RHP Joe Ross

BRAVES
RF Ronald Acuña Jr.
1B Freddie Freeman
2B Ozzie Albies
3B Austin Riley
SS Dansby Swanson
LF Abraham Almonte
C Williams Contreras
CF Guillermo Heredia
RHP Charlie Morton

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