Game 89 lineups: Nats at Reds (Ross heads to DL)

CINCINNATI - The Nationals open the second half tonight with the first of four games against the Reds at Great American Ball Park in the second 2017 meeting between the teams. The Nationals have gone 38-42 against the Reds since moving from Montreal to D.C. before the 2005 campaign, and haven't won a season series against them since 2011, when they went 4-2. Since then, they're 16-17 against the Reds. Last season, Washington won two of three games on the shores of the Ohio River and dropped three of four at Nats Park.

Gio Gonzalez gets the ball for the series opener and hopes to continue his success versus the Reds. In eight career starts against Cincinnati, Gonzalez is 3-2 with a 2.98 ERA. At homer-friendly Great American Ball Park, the left-hander is 1-2 with a 4.63 ERA in four career starts. But he hasn't been hurt very much by the longball in the notorious launching pad, having served up only two homers in 23 1/3 innings.

Gonzalez-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpgCurrent Reds are slashing .268/.342/.863 against Gonzalez, with most of the damage coming from first baseman Joey Votto, who boasts an impressive .444/.524/1.111 line against the southpaw, including three doubles, three homers and five RBIs. All-Star shortstop Zack Cozart is 2-for-17 off Gonzalez, center fielder Billy Hamilton is 2-for-9 and third baseman Eugenio Suárez is 4-for-6 with a home runs.

Right-hander Tim Adleman will start for the Reds and will make his first career appearance against the Nationals. He's 5-6 with a 4.71 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) this season, but he's struggled lately to give the Reds length, reaching six innings only one in his past six starts on June 15. He's been hurt by the home run ball, allowing 19 in 84 innings, including 12 in his past seven starts.

Great American Ball Park has been a mixed bag for Nationals hitters. In 14 lifetime games there, right fielder Bryce Harper is slashing .200/.290/.255 with a homer and two RBIs, and third baseman Anthony Rendon has a .250/.423/.400 line with a homer and four RBIs in six career games. First baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played 23 career games in Cincinnati, with a .233/.313/.398 line featuring four homers and 11 RBIs. Expect Reds pitchers to work carefully around second baseman Daniel Murphy, who is slashing .377/.415/.597 with six doubles, a triple, three homers and 15 RBIs in Cincinnati. Outfielder Chris Heisey spent the first five years of his eight-year career with the Reds, and owns a career .242/.300/.412 slash line with 27 homers and 77 RBIs at Great American Ball Park.

Last season, the Nationals were 41-37 in the second half en route to the National League East title. But they stumbled out of the gate after the All-Star break with a 4-6 record before winning seven of their next nine games. The Reds, who were a surprise leader in the NL Central in mid-April, have falled into last place in the division, but won three of four games heading into the break.

There are reportedly two new additions to the clubhouse, relievers Trevor Gott and Austin Adams, a pair of right-handers. Gott pitched in two games earlier this season, posting a win and a 22.50 ERA. Adams was 4-1 with a 2.50 ERA and three saves at Triple-A Syracuse, but carries a 1.611 WHIP and averages 7.3 walks per nine innings, which are red flags. Adams arrived in December from the Angels in the trade for Danny Espinosa.

One vacancy on the 25-man roster was created by the demotion of left-hander Sammy Solís to Triple-A. The other could involve placing right-hander Joe Ross on the 10-day disabled list after he left Sunday's start with triceps tenderness. Both Gott and Adams are on the 40-man roster, so no additional personnel juggling would be necessary for them to be recalled.

As for tonight's lineup, Murphy is getting a breather, probably because manager Dusty Baker wants to rest the guys who were in Miami at the All-Star Game (which means first baseman Zimmerman and Harper could get a rest during the next four games). Stephen Drew replaces Murphy at second base and Heisey is in left field as the Nats try to take advantage of his strong career numbers at Great American Ball Park.

Update: The Nationals have placed Ross on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to July 11, with a right elbow sprain. Adams and Gott have been officially recalled from Syracuse.

Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, XM Internet 869,
Weather: Partly cloudy, 83 degrees, wind 10 mph toward left-center field

CF Brian Goodwin
SS Wilmer Difo
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Stephen Drew
3B Anthony Rendon
C Matt Wieters
LF Chris Heisey
LHP Gio Gonzalez

REDS (39-49)
CF Billy Hamilton
SS Zack Cozart
1B Joey Votto
LF Adam Duvall
3B Eugenio Suárez
RF Scott Schebler
2B José Peraza
C Tucker Barnhart
RHP Tim Adleman

Opposite dugout: Reds still in the midst of rebuil...
Solís optioned to Syracuse, weekend rotation anno...

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