Game 9 lineups: Nats at Phillies (Taylor activated)

PHILADELPHIA - We knew all along this opening stretch of the season was going to be a bear for the Nationals, who had to face the Mets and Phillies at home and then the same two teams on the road. And it indeed has been a bear, but the Nats have survived so far, going 3-3 against New York and entering tonight's series opener against Philadelphia with a 1-1 head-to-head record.

That makes this three-game set a big one, of course, because the end result will pretty much end up defining how these opening two weeks went for the Nationals. Do they emerge from it with a winning record? One game under .500? Three games under .500? We shall see.

Michael A. Taylor home run grey NEW.jpgThe Nats do have some reinforcements for the series: Michael A. Taylor has been activated off the injured list and is set to make his season debut only 3 1/2 weeks after suffering what the team initially feared was a significant knee and hip sprain. Taylor isn't in the lineup tonight, but he's available off the bench (and as a late-inning defensive replacement). The club optioned Andrew Stevenson to Triple-A Fresno to clear a roster spot for him.

Aníbal Sánchez, meanwhile, gets the start against the potent Phillies lineup. That lineup scored four runs in four innings against Sánchez last week in D.C., but some of that came after he was struck in the hip by a comebacker. He says he's good to go now, so we'll see if there's any lingering effect.

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM,
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 75 degrees, wind 12 mph out to right field

RF Adam Eaton
2B Brian Dozier
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
1B Ryan Zimmerman
C Kurt Suzuki
SS Wilmer Difo
RHP Aníbal Sánchez
CF Victor Robles

LF Andrew McCutchen
SS Jean Segura
RF Bryce Harper
1B Rhys Hoskins
C J.T. Realmuto
CF Odúbel Herrera
2B Scott Kingery
3B Maikel Franco
RHP Vince Velasquez

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