Game 46 lineups: Nats at Rays (Rainey to IL)

The Nationals’ final road trip of 2020 begins tonight in St. Petersburg, Fla., where they’ll face the Rays in the first of a quick two-game series. It’s a rematch of last week’s two-gamer in D.C., both of those games won by the Nats. But the challenge may be greater this time.

Barrett-Throws-White-Sidebar.jpgFor one thing, the Nationals just lost their best reliever. Tanner Rainey has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right flexor strain, a move that is retroactive to Sept. 12. Rainey had pitched very well this season, but he also had pitched a lot for a variety of reasons. Now he becomes the latest member of the staff to succumb to injury, replaced on the active roster by Aaron Barrett.

It’s not a stretch to point to the Nationals’ rotation woes as a major factor contributing to their bullpen woes and injuries. And Aníbal Sánchez has been high on that list, one of the biggest disappointments of the season. Sánchez did have one of his best outings of the year going last week against these same Rays, tossing five scoreless innings before getting charged with three runs in the sixth. Let’s see if he can pick up where he left off and author another strong start tonight.

The lineup is as close to healthy as it’s been in a while. Juan Soto is batting third and playing left field. Asdrúbal Cabrera and Luis García are both manning their positions on the right side of the infield. That group will be going up against opener John Curtiss for a couple of innings before the Rays start deploying a bunch of relievers.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at TAMPA BAY RAYS
Where: Tropicana Field
Gametime: 6:40 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Indoors

NATIONALS
RF Adam Eaton
SS Trea Turner
LF Juan Soto
1B Asdrúbal Cabrera
C Kurt Suzuki
DH Eric Thames
3B Carter Kieboom
2B Luis García
CF Victor Robles

RHP Aníbal Sánchez

RAYS
LF Austin Meadows
2B Brandon Lowe
3B Mike Brosseau
DH Yoshi Tsutsugo
RF Manuel Margot
1B Nate Lowe
SS Willy Adames
CF Kevin Kiermaier
C Kevan Smith

RHP John Curtiss

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