Game 25 lineups: Nats vs. Braves (Soto, Harris activated)

The Nationals have clawed their way back to the .500 mark, sweeping the Marlins over the weekend. Their next challenge is climbing over that mark and staying there, against some stiffer competition: the Braves.

The three-time defending National League East champs are back in town for their second visit of the season already. They took two of three in the season-opening series on South Capitol Street, sweeping a 14-inning doubleheader after the Nats won in dramatic fashion on opening day. Things haven’t gone as well for Atlanta as most would’ve thought at the time. Losers of four straight, they’re now 12-16 with a pitching staff that ranks last in the NL with a 5.06 ERA and 13th with a 1.419 WHIP.

One of the Braves’ pitching bright spots has been Huascar Ynoa, and the right-hander is on the mound tonight facing a Nationals club he shut out for five innings back on April 7. The Nats’ lineup that day, though, featured a 5-6-7-8 of Andrew Stevenson, Hernán Pérez, Luis García and Tres Barrera. It’ll be a bit more formidable tonight.

Ross-Delivers-Blue-Home-Sidebar.jpgJoe Ross gets the start for manager Davey Martinez, looking to do in May what he did in April. The righty will have to contend with a terrific trio of Ronald Acuña Jr., Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna atop the Braves lineup, so this is no simple challenge.

Martinez does have a fresh bullpen he can turn to once Ross is done for the night, and that group has been bolstered with the addition of Will Harris. The veteran right-hander was just activated off the 10-day injured list after dealing with a mysterious hand ailment that delayed his start to the season. To make room for Harris on the roster, the Nats optioned Kyle McGowin to Triple-A Rochester.

Oh, and there’s another roster move to announce: Juan Soto has been activated off the IL. But before you get too excited, he’s not in the lineup. He still hasn’t been cleared to throw at game speed, so he’ll be available to pinch-hit only for now. Still, that’s an awfully nice pinch-hitter to have on your bench. To make room for Soto on the roster, the Nationals have designated Pérez for assignment.

Keep an eye on the radar tonight, though. There’s the potential for storms. It’s only May 4, but it may feel more like mid-July tonight in D.C.

ATLANTA BRAVES vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Chance of rain, 78 degrees, wind 9 mph out to left field

NATIONALS
SS Trea Turner
RF Yadiel Hernandez
2B Josh Harrison
1B Josh Bell
LF Kyle Schwarber
3B Starlin Castro
C Yan Gomes
CF Victor Robles
RHP Joe Ross

BRAVES
RF Ronald Acuña Jr.
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Marcell Ozuna
2B Ozzie Albies
3B Austin Riley
SS Dansby Swanson
C William Contreras
CF Cristian Pache
RHP Huascar Ynoa

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