Roster space for Franco was cleared yesterday with infielder Kelvin Gutiérrez optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
Franco hasn’t played for the Orioles since spraining his right ankle June 30 in Houston following back-to-back three-hit games. He’s batting .221/.265/.376 with 18 doubles, nine home runs and 42 RBIs in 309 plate appearances.
His return came after one rehab game in the Florida Complex League.
The Orioles haven’t published their lineup, but manager Brandon Hyde confirmed Franco’s inclusion.
Jorge López will try to become the fifth consecutive starter to complete five innings. He’s been unable to do it in his last four starts, three times falling an out short.
López faced the Nationals on May 21 in D.C. and allowed two runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts in five innings.
Nats left-hander Patrick Corbin is 6-8 with a 5.66 ERA and 1.470 WHIP in 18 starts. He’s averaging a career-low 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings. His 62 earned runs are the most in the National League.
Corbin faced the Orioles on May 23 and allowed four runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He’s made three starts this month and surrendered 13 earned runs (14 total) and 25 hits in 16 innings.
Corbin has made two career appearances at Camden Yards and allowed five runs and nine hits in seven innings. He owns a 5.06 ERA and 1.388 WHIP in five games versus the Orioles.
Freddy Galvis is 5-for-16 with two doubles and a triple against Corbin, but he’s on the injured list with a right quadriceps strain and working out down in Florida. Hyde is hoping that Galvis rejoins the Orioles by the end of the month.
The Nats swept the Orioles in a three-game series in May by a combined score of 22-16.
For the Nationals
Alcides Escobar 2B
Trea Turner SS
Juan Soto RF
Josh Bell 1B
Ryan Zimmerman DH
Josh Harrison 3B
Gerardo Parra LF
Tres Barrera C
Andrew Stevenson CF
Patrick Corbin LHP
Spenser Watkins starts Tuesday night against the Marlins at Camden Yards.
Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann is expected to be reinstated from the injured list by the middle of August.
The Orioles announced the following draft pick signings:
Outfielder Reed Trimble (Competitive Balance round B), right-hander Carlos Tavera (fifth round), catcher Creed Willems (eighth), infielder Ryan Higgins (ninth), outfielder Billy Cook (10th), right-hander Dylan Heid (11th), right-hander Justin Armbruester (12th), infielder Jacob Teter (13th), right-hander Keagan Gillies (15th), right-hander Peter Van Loon (16th), right-hander Ryan Long (17th), right-hander Conor Grady (18th) and right-hander Alex Pham (19th).