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Red Sox vs. Nationals lineups: Blake Swihart to play following Wednesday’s tragedy

The Sox go up against Max Scherzer.

World Series - Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Four Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Red Sox host the Nationals down in Fort Myers this afternoon and have a lineup almost full of regulars taking the field. The name that stands out in this particular lineups is Blake Swihart, who lost his adopted brother Wednesday morning. He was, of course, scratched from that game, and no one would have blamed him for taking more time off after that. Instead, he says Romell Jordan would have wanted him to go out and play on Thursday, so that’s what he’s going to do. We’ll all be rooting for a big game from him today. He’ll be the team’s DH and hit sixth.

Along with Swihart, the Red Sox also have a top four of Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts. Bradley in particular is going to be the guy to watch from this group, as he and his new swing have two home runs in two games so far this spring. We’ve all been hoping for a consistent Bradley at the plate over an entire season, and while we can’t say that’s what we’ll get in 2018 a hot spring is better than the alternative. Boston’s hitters are going to have a challenge on their hands, though, as they face Max Scherzer, arguably the best pitcher in baseball right now.

Pitching for the Red Sox is Hector Velázquez, making his first appearance of the spring. The righty spent all of 2018 in the majors last season, splitting time between the bullpen and the rotation. There’s not a ton of upside in his arm, but he’s a solid major leaguer who can fill mutliple roles without killing you. That’s a valuable piece, even if it’s unexciting. He is fighting for a roster spot, though, as one of the few potential bullpen pieces with minor-league options remaining. After him we’ll see appearances from Ryan Weber and Denyi Reyes, among others.

Here are the full lineups:

Red Sox at Twins, 3/22

Lineup Spot Red Sox Twins
Lineup Spot Red Sox Twins
1 Andrew Benintendi, LF Max Kepler, RF
2 Eduardo Núñez, 2B Jorge Polanco, SS
3 Rafael Devers, 3B Nelson Cruz, DH
4 J.D. Martinez, DH Eddie Rosario, LF
5 Xander Bogaerts, SS C.J. Cron, 1B
6 Mitch Moreland, 1B Marwin Gonzalez, 3B
7 Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Jonathan Schoop, 2B
8 Christian Vázquez, C Jason Castro, C
9 Gorkys Hernández, RF Byron Buxton, CF
SP Dan Runzler, LHP Kyle Gibson, RHP

Today’s game will be televised locally. If you are in the Boston TV market you’ll be able to catch it on FOX25. Everyone else in New England or who has NESN in their package can find it there. If you have MLB.TV you will of course be able to watch it live there. If not, and you don’t have NESN, MLB Network will be replaying the game at 4:00 PM ET. Thursday’s contest will also be on 850 AM WEEI for the radio broadcast. First pitch is at 1:05 PM ET.