Game 91 lineups: Nats vs. Pirates (Murphy scratched)

And we’re back. After a four-day break for All-Star festivities, the Nationals are back in action tonight, opening a nine-game homestand that begins this weekend with three against the Pirates.

Stephen Strasburg sat out the Midsummer Classic in San Diego in part because he wanted to make sure he was fresh to start tonight’s second-half opener. So this is a big start for the right-hander, who (by the way) is attempting to improve to 13-0 on the season.

Erratic left-hander Francisco Liriano gets the ball for the Pirates, and so Dusty Baker is going with a lineup similar to the one he fielded in Sunday’s first-half finale against Mets lefty Steven Matz. That includes Trea Turner leading off and playing second base, with Daniel Murphy shifting to first base. It also includes Michael A. Taylor in center field. Basically, with the roster as it currently stands, Baker appears to prefer Turner and Taylor against lefties, with Clint Robinson and Ben Revere against righties.

Update: So much for that lineup. Murphy has been scratched with what the Nats officially are calling “general leg soreness.” Sounds like they just wanted to give him a night off after what probably was an exhausting trip to San Diego for the All-Star Game. Robinson will now play first base and bat eighth, with Taylor bumped up to the No. 2 spot and Jayson Werth to the No. 3 spot ...

Trea Turner smile blue.pngPITTSBURGH PIRATES vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 9, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 90 degrees, wind 8 mph out to right field

NATIONALS (54-36)
2B Trea Turner
CF Michael A. Taylor
LF Jayson Werth
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
1B Clint Robinson
RHP Stephen Strasburg

PIRATES (46-43)
2B Josh Harrison
1B David Freese
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
RF Matt Joyce
3B Jung Ho Kang
SS Jordy Mercer
C Eric Fryer
LHP Francisco Liriano

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