Game 154 lineups: Nats at Reds (updated)

What’s this, a winning streak? By the Nationals? Why, yes, it is. Three in a row by manager Davey Martinez’s bunch after Thursday night’s 3-2 victory over the Reds in Cincinnati. It’s the club’s first three-game winning streak since Aug. 17-20. These guys haven’t won four in a row since June 27-30, which brought them to their high point of the season at 40-38 thanks to Trea Turner’s third career cycle.

Things have gone just a little bit downhill since then, I suppose you could say. But they are playing fairly well at the moment, and it starts with the starting pitching. It should come as no surprise that in each of these last three wins, the starter went at least six innings and gave up two or fewer runs. Funny how that works, huh?

Thumbnail image for Espino-Throws-Gray-Camo-Sidebar.jpgPaolo Espino will look to keep that streak alive tonight. He was quite good in his last start, shutting out the Rockies over 5 2/3 innings and lowering his ERA to 3.94. The journeyman right-hander has two starts left, and he said he’d love to reach the 100-strikeout mark by season’s end. He’s at 90 right now, so if he can average five per start, he’ll do it.

The lineup is unchanged from Thursday night, facing right-hander Sonny Gray. Luis García remains the No. 5 hitter with Yadiel Hernandez away on paternity leave. The 21-year-old looked a little jumpy last night in a couple early at-bats with runners in scoring position. Let’s see if he is able to settle back into a groove tonight.

Update: Carter Kieboom was scratched from the lineup about 90 minutes before gametime. Jordy Mercer will now start at third base and bat seventh.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at CINCINNATI REDS
Where: Great American Ball Park
Gametime: 7:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 FM, MLB.com
Weather: Clear, 69 degrees, wind 5 mph in from right field

NATIONALS
CF Lane Thomas
SS Alcides Escobar
RF Juan Soto
1B Josh Bell
2B Luis García
C Keibert Ruiz
3B Carter Kieboom Jordy Mercer
LF Andrew Stevenson
RHP Paolo Espino

REDS
2B Jonathan India
LF Max Schrock
RF Nick Castellanos
1B Joey Votto
SS Kyle Farmer
3B Eugenio Suárez
C Tucker Barnhart
CF TJ Friedl
RHP Sonny Gray

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